Maldivian Foreign Minister arrives in India on four-day visit

PTI

File photo of Maldivian Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid. Courtesy: Twitter

File photo of Maldivian Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid. Courtesy: Twitter

Foreign Minister of the Maldives Abdulla Shahid will arrive in New Delhi on a four-day visit, with an aim to repair the bilateral ties which came under severe strain during the previous government in the island nation.

Officials said External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will hold extensive talks with Shahid on Monday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had attended the swearing-in ceremony of Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih on November 17 in Male.

During their meeting, Modi and Solih vowed to renew close ties and friendship between the two countries and agreed on the importance of maintaining peace and security in the Indian Ocean region.

Solih, as the opposition Maldivian Democratic Party’s candidate, had surprisingly defeated strongman Abdulla Yameen in the presidential election held on September 23.

India-Maldives ties came under strain under Yameen who was perceived to be close to China. Some decisions by Yameen including imposition of restrictions on work visas for Indians and signing of a new Free Trade Agreement with Beijing also did not go down well with New Delhi.

Relations between India and the Maldives deteriorated further after Yameen imposed emergency on February 5 this year.

India had criticised his decision and asked his government to restore the credibility of the electoral and political process by releasing political prisoners. The emergency lasted for 45 days.

(PTI)