Dr S. Jaishankar, External Affairs Minister, inaugurated the India-funded Community Centre in Foakaidhoo, Maldives, on Thursday, and granted 100 million Maldivian Rufiyaa for community development initiatives. Abdulla Shahid, the Maldives’ Foreign Minister, accompanied him.
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S Jaishankar, on his fourth official diplomatic visit to the Maldives, stated that India had financed about 45 projects on the island country, spread across 16 atolls and 36 islands, in order to create excellent social infrastructure in the Maldives. Twenty-three of these projects have already been accomplished. Yesterday, a new proposal for the development of a sports facility in Gaaf Dhaalu Gaddhoo was added. He noted that the collaborative initiatives boost women’s and youth’s development and encourage sports.
“Delighted to inaugurate the India-funded Community Centre in Foakaidhoo with FM Abdulla Shahid. Applaud the Council and local community for its successful completion.” Mr Jaishankar tweeted.
Dr S Jaishankar arrived in the Maldives on Wednesday and was greeted cordially by Maldivian Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid. Jaishankar is on a three-day visit to the Maldives and Sri Lanka to deepen bilateral ties with India’s two most important maritime neighbours.
Key Events from India’s Visit to the Maldives
Upon his arrival in the Maldives, EAM Dr S. Jaishankar met with the Maldivian Foreign Minister, Abdullah Shahid, and announcements were made on the signing of many agreements and memorandums of understanding between the two countries.
The visit, which aimed to strengthen India’s existing ties with its key maritime neighbour in the Indian Ocean Region, resulted in various agreements between India and the Maldives, including community development projects throughout the Maldives, the establishment of a sports complex in Gaaf Dhaalu Gadhdhoo to harness sports skills, and academic collaboration between the Maldives National University and Cochin University.
EAM also announced that India has handed over two maritime ambulances to the MNDF, allowing for the speedy deployment of health care services to people in need. Both leaders also took part in the ceremonial transfer of preschool books from India to Noonu Mandhoo Preschool.
“We are great neighbours, we are strong partners, we are now jointly involved in the development, in progress, but we also share responsibility for peace and security in the area. Our security collaboration is also strengthening, which is exactly what it should be,” EAM said during a joint news conference.
During the meeting, the Maldivian Foreign Minister praised India-Maldives ties, saying, “The Maldives-India Partnership has a significant influence on the strengthening of bilateral relations for the future ahead.”
Jaishankar also paid tribute to Sultan Mohamed Thakururufaanu, the island nation’s cherished national hero, at his Memorial Centre today. He tweeted that Sultan’s struggle serves as a reminder to him to continue his dedication to national progress.
The Ground-breaking Ceremony of the Hanimadhoo International Airport Expansion Project
On Wednesday, EAM Dr S Jaishankar and Maldives President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih attended the groundbreaking ceremony for the Hanimadhoo International Airport expansion project.
The initiative is covered under India’s concessional credit and will focus on increasing people-to-people exchanges. The development project will make it possible for direct travel from the northern atolls for commercial, medical, and other objectives. This project would also benefit the Maldivian economy by increasing growth and employment possibilities, encouraging tourism development, and strengthening allied industries like fishing and logistics.
In his speech, EAM provides information on the advancement of numerous initiatives backed by India that are being carried out in the Maldives, including the Greater Malé Connectivity Project.
“One key success in our partnership is our participation in human resource development. In recent years, we have greatly expanded our collaboration by establishing new programmes in a variety of sectors. Over 900 Maldivian friends benefitted from participation in various in-person training programmes in India just last year. The most recent project allows local government officials to go on exposure trips and receive training in areas of interest,” EAM added.
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