Stable, secure Maldives is in India’s strategic interest: PM Modi

New Delhi : Asserting that India’s economic development is incomplete without the progress of its neighbours, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said a stable and secure Maldives is in New Delhi’s strategic interest.
Prime Minister Modi said progress, security and economic development is at the core of India-Maldives relations.

The Prime Minister, who held talks with visiting Maldives President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom at the Hyderabad House here, said India is conscious of the security needs of Maldives, adding the island nation will be sensitive to its strategic and security interests.

He said India understands its role as a net security provider in the Indian Ocean and is ready to protect its strategic interests in this region.

The Prime Minister also called for cooperation between the security agencies of both countries to tackle the menace of rising radicalisation of youth and terrorism.

The Maldives President in his statement said India is his country’s most important friend, adding ties between the two nations are based in civilizational roots.

He said that efforts are being made to improve country’s economy.

India and Maldives today signed six agreements in different sectors, including avoidance of double taxation, conservation and restoration of ancient mosque, tourism and defence.

As close and friendly neighbours, India and Maldives share ethnic, linguistic, cultural, religious and commercial links steeped in antiquity and enjoy cordial and multidimensional relations. India was among the first to recognise Maldives after its independence in 1965 and to establish diplomatic relations with the country. India established its mission at Male in 1972.

Bilateral relations have been nurtured and strengthened by regular contacts at all levels.

India and Maldives have consistently supported each other in multilateral fora such as the UN, the Commonwealth, the NAM and the SAARC. (ANI)