PM Narendra Modi in Maldives HIGHLIGHTS: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday was conferred with the Maldives’ highest honour “Rule of Nishan Izzuddeen” during his first bilateral visit to the island nation in the second term. The Prime Minister held wide-ranging talks with Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and signed six agreements to strengthen bilateral ties in a number of key areas including defence and maritime. Upon his arrival this evening, Modi was greeted at Male airport by Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid and also received a ceremonial welcome by President Solih at Republic Square.
Modi, along with President Solih, will jointly inaugurate two key projects – the Coastal Surveillance Radar System and the Composite Training Centre of the Maldives National Defence Forces – with an eye on China’s pro-active moves in the Indian Ocean region. Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale had described the two as “important projects”, valued at about Rs 180 crore, which will be remotely inaugurated by the two leaders.
Besides this, Modi will travel to Sri Lanka later in the day where he will review the progress on a key trilateral MoU which India, Japan and Sri Lanka have signed – the development of the East Container Terminal in Colombo, located just about 3 km away from the China-supported “port city”, which is being built on reclaimed land.