Prime Minister to attend swearing-in of Maldives president Ibrahim Solih
PRIME Minister Narendra Modi will travel to Male on November 17 to attend the swearing-in ceremony of president Ibrahim Mohamed Solih. This will be his first visit to the Maldives since assuming office.
Relations between the nations had nosedived during the regime of outgoing President Abdulla Yameen, who repeatedly snubbed India and wooed Chinese investment and support. The growing Chinese influence in the country, barely 700 km from India's southern tip, caused much consternation in New Delhi, which, despite opposition appeals for greater involvement, preferred to wait and watch.
The relations deteriorated further after Yameen imposed emergency in February 5 this year, and launched a crackdown on opposition leaders and judiciary. But apart from calling for the restoration of democracy, New Delhi refused the Maldivian opposition's calls for grater involvement. Yameen lifted the emergency after 45 days, and Presidential elections were held on September 23 in which joint opposition leader Ibrahim Mohamed Solih defeated Yameen, capping months of political upheaval in the tiny archipelago nation.
Saying this is not a bilateral visit, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said, "India looks forward to closely working with Maldives in deepening the partnership."