PM Narendra Modi began his maiden visit to Maldives on Saturday following his swearing-in as the Prime Minister for a second consecutive term. PM Modi’s visit is in tune with the 'India first policy' of Male and 'Neighbourhood First' policy of New Delhi.
The Prime Minister will meet Maldives President Ibrahim Solih and the two leaders are expected to sign several agreements related to customs cooperation, capacity building, defence and connectivity issues.
PM Modi has emphasised on cricket diplomacy with Maldives in order to consolidate people-to-people relations. He will focus on President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih's mission to develop the sport in Maldives
With an aim to enhance connectivity, India is planning to start a ferry service from Kochi to the Maldives
Both PM Modi and the Maldivian President will jointly inaugurate two defence related projects – a coastal surveillance radar system and composite training centre for Maldives National Defence Forces (MNDF), strengthening defence ties.
On the day of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to the Maldives, President Solih has announced to confer the highest honour which is accorded to foreign dignitaries to PM Modi during his visit.
Taking to Twitter on Saturday, Minister of Foreign Affairs for the Maldives Abdulla Shahid stated that "The Most Honourable Order of the Distinguished Rule of Nishan Izzuddeen" will be accorded to PM Modi during his visit to the Island nation.
PM Modi, following his swearing-in, without wasting a moment, decided to travel to Maldives as his first official foreign visit after forming the government for the second time.
On the night of the swearing-in ceremony on May 30, he held his first bilateral talks with the President of Kyrgyzstan Sooronbay Jeenbekov.