Prime Minister Narendra Modi is all set to make his first visit to Maldives and Sri Lanka after his re-election to the office, following a historic mandate in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. PM Modi will be visiting the countries on the invitation of President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih of Maldives on June 8 and President Maithripala Sirisena of Sri Lanka on June 9, in order to boost ties and better the maritime relations with the neighbouring countries.
Taking to Twitter a day ahead of his visit to the countries, PM Modi shared a 'departure statement' in which he said that he is "confident that his visit to the Maldives and Sri Lanka will further strengthen India's close and cordial ties with the maritime neighbours".
Speaking ahead of his first visit to Sri Lanka after the Easter attack that took place on April 21, 2019, he expressed solidarity with the Government and the people of Sri Lanka.
"My visit to Sri Lanka is to express our solidarity with the Government and the people of Sri Lanka in the wake of the terrible terrorist attacks there last Easter on 21 April 2019. India stands with Sri Lanka in the fight against terrorism," he said in his statement.
Later in his statement, he spoke about Maldives as a "valued partner" with whom India shares deep bonds of history and culture.
"We regard the Maldives as a valued partner with whom we share deep bonds of history and culture. Our bilateral relations with the Maldives have been greatly strengthened in the recent past. I am confident that my visit will further deepen our multifaceted partnership," wrote Modi in his statement.
He also thanked President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih of Maldives for the invitation to visit the island nation.
Modi's visit to the Maldives and Sri Lanka is aimed to further strengthen close and cordial ties with the maritime neighbours, in line with the ‘Neighbourhood-First Policy’ and the vision of Security and Growth for All in the Region.
Modi had visited 59 countries during his first term as Prime Minister, beating the number of countries visited by his predecessor Manmohan Singh during in his 10-year term. From the very beginning, Modi has strongly believed in maintaining friendly relations with the neighbouring countries and has thrived to maintain and develop cordial relations with them.
Sri Lankan President Sirisena attended the swearing-in ceremony of PM Modi following which they had a discussion pertaining to India's relations with its immediate neighbour.