FS Shringla to visit Maldives from Nov 9-10; hold talks to deepen ties

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New Delhi, Nov 6 (PTI) Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla will pay a two-day visit to Maldives next week during which he will hold talks with the top leadership of that country to review the entire gamut of bilateral ties and discuss the coronavirus situation, including India's assistance in Maldives' post-COVID economic recovery.

Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said that Shringla will visit Maldives from November 9 to 10 and underlined that this would be the first high-level in-person interaction between the two countries since the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The foreign secretary is scheduled to call on President Ibrahim Solih and will also have substantive discussions with the ministers of foreign affairs, defence, finance, economic development, planning, human affairs, tourism and youth and sports, he said.

The foreign secretary will also call on Maldives' People's Majlis Speaker Mohamed Nasheed and will meet other political leaders, Srivastava said.

'Maldives occupies a special place in our neighborhood first policy and this time tested and enduring relationship with Maldives has strengthened and deepened even further in recent months,' Srivastava said.

India has also responded to Maldives in extending assistance in dealing with the COVID crisis, he said.

During his visit, the foreign secretary will review the entire gamut of bilateral ties and will also review the progress of ongoing bilateral projects, Srivastava said. Shringla will hold discussions on the ongoing COVID-19 situation, including India’s continued assistance to the Maldives for its post-COVID economic recovery, the official said.

Srivastava said the foreign secretary's visit is testimony to the importance that India attaches to its relations with Maldives and it is expected to lend further momentum to the bilateral cooperation. PTI ASK ANB ANB