India and Maldives are set to strengthen bilateral relations. New Maldives President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih will arrive in New Delhi, India on Sunday on a three-day state visit, during which he will hold talks with PM Modi to strengthen bilateral relations which had gone wayward under former President Yameen.
Solih, who surprisingly defeated Abdulla Yameen in September, will arrive in the afternoon and hold talks with Modi on Monday after a ceremonial reception. He will also meet President Ram Nath Kovind the same day.
Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will also call on Solih during his visit. The Maldives president, who will be accompanied by his wife Fazna Ahmed, will visit the Taj Mahal on Tuesday before heading back to his country. Solih’s visit comes about a month after Modi attended his swearing-in ceremony.
Modi had said in the Maldives that he was looking forward to working closely with Solih as both the leaders expressed confidence in the renewal of the close ties and friendship between the two countries, which was briefly interrupted by political turmoil in the Indian Ocean island nation.
Relations between India and the Maldives deteriorated after Yameen imposed emergency on February 5 this year. India had criticised Yameen’s decision and asked his government to restore the credibility of the electoral and political process by releasing political prisoners. The emergency lasted for 45 days.