Modi to visit Mal­dives for Solih’s swear­ing-in

Mint ST - - NEWS - El­iz­a­beth.r@livemint.com NEW DELHI feed­back@livemint.com BEN­GALURU

Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi will at­tend the swear­ing-in cer­e­mony of Mal­di­vian pres­i­dent-elect Ibrahim Mo­hamed Solih on 17 No­vem­ber, the ex­ter­nal af­fairs min­istry said on Fri­day.

Modi’s Male visit comes at a time when the po­lit­i­cal sit­u­a­tion in the Mal­dives is seen as sta­bi­liz­ing while un­cer­tainty clouds the po­lit­i­cal process in neigh­bour­ing Sri Lanka.

Solih, elected in the 23 Septem­ber elec­tions in the atoll na­tion, last month in­vited Modi dur­ing a tele­phone call by the In­dian Prime Min­is­ter con­grat­u­lat­ing the pres­i­den­t­elect.

With this trip to the Mal­dives, Modi will com­plete vis­its to all seven South Asian coun­tries since tak­ing of­fice on 26 May 2014.

Modi was sup­posed to visit the Mal­dives in March 2015 but it was called off at the last minute be­cause of po­lit­i­cal tur­moil fol­low­ing the ar­rests and de­ten­tion of po­lit­i­cal op­po­nents by then pres­i­dent Ab­dul­lah Yameen.

Even as the po­lit­i­cal sit­u­a­tion in Male sta­bi­lizes, un­cer­tainty clouds the po­lit­i­cal process in neigh­bour­ing Sri Lanka, where Pres­i­dent Maithri­pala Sirisena last month ap­pointed China-lean­ing for­mer pres­i­dent Mahinda Ra­japaksa as prime min­is­ter, mak­ing the in­cum­bent Ranil Wick­remesinghe’s po­si­tion ten­u­ous.

Both the Mal­dives and Sri Lanka are key neigh­bours of In­dia in the In­dian Ocean re­gion, where In­dia and China are vy­ing for in­creased in­flu­ence.

Modi will also be vis­it­ing Sin­ga­pore to take part in the 13th East Asia Sum­mit and hold other meet­ings on 14-15 No­vem­ber, ac­cord­ing to for­eign min­istry spokesman Raveesh Ku­mar.

Do­mes­tic pas­sen­ger ve­hi­cle (PV) sales grew marginally on a yearon-year ba­sis in Oc­to­ber, an in­dus­try body said on Fri­day, the first time in four months when ris­ing prices and lend­ing curbs have hurt de­mand.

Pas­sen­ger ve­hi­cle (PV) sales rose 1.55% in Oc­to­ber, snap­ping three months of con­sec­u­tive de­cline, al­though low mar­ket sen­ti­ments af­fected fes­tive sea­son de­mand, So­ci­ety of In­dian Au­to­mo­bile Man­u­fac­tur­ers (Siam) said on Fri­day.

Ac­cord­ing to the lat­est data re­leased by Siam, pas­sen­ger ve­hi­cle sales in Oc­to­ber stood at 284,224 units as against 279,877 units in the year-ago month.

In July, Au­gust and Septem­ber, pas­sen­ger ve­hi­cle sales have de­clined by 2.71%, 2.46% and 5.61%, re­spec­tively.

Siam di­rec­tor gen­eral, Vishnu Mathur, said pos­i­tive growth in PV sales wit­nessed in Oc­to­ber is re­flec­tive of the over­all trend in the au­to­mo­bile in­dus­try.

Over­all, the data shows pretty healthy growth. Ve­hi­cle sales across cat­e­gories reg­is­tered a growth of 15.33% to 2,494,426 units from 2,162,869 units in Oc­to­ber 2017. REUTERS feed­back@livemint.com PTI con­tributed to this story.

Mal­di­vian pres­i­dent-elect Ibrahim Mo­hamed Solih will be sworn-in on 17 No­vem­ber.

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