The Government of Maldives and India held Official talks, led by President Yameen Abdul Gayoom and Prime Minister of India Dr. Manmohan Singh.
At the talks Dr. Singh assured President Yameen that during his state visit, India would offer its warmest hospitality and camaraderie to the Maldivian President and his delegation. Prime Minister Singh said that the two countries had formed a unique partnership over the years, and elaborated on the shared desire for peace, stability and security in South Asia.
Congratulating President Yameen on assuming the office of the President, the Indian Prime Minister noted the successful political transition following the election and the efforts of the new government to consolidate democracy in the country. Expressing India’s confidence in the Maldives to resolve internal matters in the country, he welcomed the President’s pledge of economic transformation in the Maldives.
Prime Minister Singh highlighted the key agreements and decisions on the joint statement, including the facilitation of trade credit to the Maldives to the amount of 25 million dollars, the relaxation of restriction on stone aggregates, the favorable disposition of India for the Maldives request to import petroleum from India, and the supply of other essential commodities.
Highlighting that Indira Gandhi Memorial is an enduring symbol of Indo-Maldives relations, the Indian Prime Minister assured that work on comprehensively renovating the hospital would begin in the near future.
Delving in to the prevalent strong economic ties between the two countries, Prime Minister Dr. Singh noted that improved air connectivity would help to increase the Indian influx to the Maldives. He also said that the Indian Government encourages the Indian entrepreneurs to invest in the Maldives and noted that infrastructure, housing, education, health and renewable energy were some of the potential areas for Indian investment in the Maldives’ economy.
Prime Minister Singh highlighted that the liberalization of visas for travel to India particularly for medical purposes as a further development of this visit. He expressed the need to strengthen cooperation on defense and security and noted that India was favorable towards a number of projects in the sector including the composite training facility, the new building of the Ministry of Defense, the Police Academy, equipment and infrastructure needs of Maldives National Defense Force, and the upgrading of Senehiya. He also emphasized the importance of cooperation in maritime security issues to ensure stability and peace.
At the talks, President Yameen briefed Indian PM and his delegation on the key priorities of his government, including employment for the youth, higher education scholarships, and broadening of the country’s economic base.
The Maldivian President expressed his confidence that this visit would open a new chapter of the Indo-Maldives relations. He assured India of the Maldives’ firm support to India in India’s candidatures at the International level.
After the talks a joint statement between Maldives and India was issued on occasion of the visit.