December 18, New Delhi:The President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, received His Excellency Mr Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, the President of the Republic of Maldives, at Rashtrapati Bhavan on Monday. He also hosted a banquet in his honour. “India wishes to see a democratic, stable, prosperous and peaceful Maldives. As the Maldives Government embarks on its journey to fulfill the mandate given by the people of the country, India assures all possible support as a true friend”, said the President in his banquet speech.
Welcoming the Maldives President to India, the President said that we are honoured that he has chosen to visit India on his first State Visit and that too, within a month of assuming office. “India attaches the highest importance to its relationship with Maldives. Maldives can always count on India as a steadfast partner in its progress as a nation”, said Kovind while speaking about the close ties and special friendship among the two nations.
“Along with strengthening our bilateral relations, we must also enhance our partnership on global issues. Climate Change needs urgent attention and action. We are deeply concerned of its impact, and especially so on Maldives and other Small Island States that are most vulnerable to it. India has taken the lead to fight Climate Change through the International Solar Alliance”, Kovind added inviting Maldives to become a member of the Alliance and strengthen its efforts.
The Vice President of India, M. Venkaiah Naidu also interacted with the President of Maldives, Mr. Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, at Rashtrapati Bhawan on the same day. “Focusing on people centric development that is aimed at transforming the lives of the people of Maldives is a noble mission and India will support Maldives’ efforts and work closely in alignment with their identified priorities”, said Naidu.
“We were delighted that Prime Minister, Shri Modi visited Maldives to attend your swearing-in ceremony and this demonstrates the importance we attach to our relationship with Maldives. In the last few decades India has made great strides in its socio-economic development and we are happy to share our knowledge and abilities with close friends like Maldives. I am glad to share that we have signed several agreements in the field of health, education and agriculture”, he further added.
Naidu also commented that defence cooperation between India and Maldives is one of the important foundations of our close relationship. Considering strategic location of our both countries in the Indian Ocean, the security of India and Maldives is inter-dependent. “India is ready to fulfill the defence requirements of your country including equipment sourcing, training and capacity building”, he added.