The Vice President of India, M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that focusing on people centric development that is aimed at transforming the lives of the people of Maldives is a noble mission and India will support Maldives’ efforts and work closely in alignment with their identified priorities. He was interacting with the President of Maldives, Mr. Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, at Rashtrapati Bhawan here today.The Vice President said that it is a great honour for us that he has come to India as his first visit abroad. We were delighted that Prime Minister, Shri Modi visited Maldives to attend your swearing-in ceremony and this demonstrates the importance we attach to our relationship with Maldives, he said. India always stands ready to assist the Republic of Maldives in all areas of cooperation, he added.Shri Naidu said that in the last few decades India has made great strides in its socio-economic development and we are happy to share our knowledge and abilities with close friends like Maldives. I am glad to share that we have signed several agreements in the field of health, education and agriculture, he added.
The Vice President said that both countries have signed many Agreements/MoUs including Visa Facilitation Agreement. I am confident that this will further enhance people-to-people contact, he added.Shri Naidu said that defence cooperation between India and Maldives is one of the important foundations of our close relationship. Considering strategic location of our both countries in the Indian Ocean, the security of India and Maldives is inter-dependent. We need to be sensitive to each other’s security concerns, he said. India is ready to fulfill the defence requirements of your country including equipment sourcing, training and capacity building, he added.The Vice President said that for years both our countries have worked together closely in a spirit of friendship with mutual beneficial cooperation. We need to ensure that this special relationship remains strong as ever, he added.