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PM Modi arrives at the Maldives to participate in the presidential election of Ibrahim Mohamed Solih's inauguration

Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived here on Saturday to attend the Maldives submission ceremony, elected president Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, who…

Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived here on Saturday to attend the Maldives submission ceremony, elected president Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, who surprisingly defeated Abdulla Yameen in September.

This is Modi’s first visit to the Maldives as prime minister. The last visit of an Indian prime minister to India’s ocean island nation was by Manmohan Singh 2011.

“I will convey the new Maldivian government of Solih wishing the Indian government to work closely to realize its development priorities, especially in the areas of infrastructure, health care, connection and development of human resources,” said Modi in a series tweets before the visit.

He said that the recent election in the Maldives represents the people’s collective aspirations for democracy, the rule of law and a future future.

“We in India want to see a stable, democratic, prosperous and peaceful Republic of Maldives,” said the prime minister.

Modi also congratulated Solih on his victory in the last election and wished him “the very best for his ministry”.

“India and Maldives share a strong partnership with anchoring in history, strong ties between our people and their common pursuit of peace and prosperity. My government’s vision of inclusive development” Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikaas “extends to all our neighbors ,” he said.

Modi also said that he would convey to Solih his desire to work with the new Maldives government in various areas to increase bilateral ties.

Solih, the opposition party of the Maldivian Democratic Party, who surprisingly appeared on the existing President Yameen in the election on September 23, had extended the invitation during a phone call by Modi.

The Maldives is the only South Asian Association for the SAARC Regional Cooperation, Modi has not visited. His visit to the Maldives, a strategically important island and a popular tourist destination, was interrupted in March 201

5 due to the volatile political situation.

The India Maldives band was under strain under Yameen, which was perceived to be close to China. Some decisions by Yameen, including the imposition of restrictions on work visa for Indians and the signing of a new FTA with Beijing, did not go well with New Delhi.

The relations between India and the Maldives were further deteriorated after Yameen introduced an emergency on February 5 this year. India had criticized its decision and asked its government to restore the credibility of the chosen and political process by releasing political prisoners. The emergency lasted for 45 days.

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