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Maldives FM 'delighted' As India Agrees To Resume Visa-free Travel For Islanders

Maldivian FM Abdulla Shahid on Sunday expressed delight that India agreed to resume the 2018 December Visa Exemption Agreement between the two countries.

India

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Maldives Foreign Minister Abdullah Shahid on Sunday, October 10, expressed delight after India agreed to resume the 2018 December Visa Exemption Agreement between the two countries that allow Maldivians to travel India without a visa. 

The 2018 December Visa Exemption Agreement between the Maldives and India was temporarily suspended amid the COVID-19-triggered border closure. Taking to Twitter on Sunday, Shahid informed that from mid-October, the Maldivian nationals will not require visas for tourists, medical and business purposes. He also thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister Dr. S Jaishankar for considering Maldives’ request to resume the agreement.

"Delighted that India has agreed to resume the 2018 Dec Visa Exemption Agreement between the Maldives & India, which was temporarily suspended due to COVID-19 border closure. From 15 Oct 2021, Maldivian Nationals will be exempt of visa requirements for tourists, medical & business purposes," Shahid tweeted.

A separate announcement was made by the High Commission of India in the Maldives on Twitter saying that no visa will be required from mid-October for Maldivians travelling to the country. The High Commission of India in the Maldives stated that Maldives will be the “first beneficiary” of Visa-free travel since the COVID restrictions were imposed by India in March 2020 in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic. 

“NO VISA required from Oct 15 for Maldivians travelling to India for Medical, Business & Tourism purposes. Maldives will be the 1st beneficiary of VISA FREE TRAVEL since COVID restrictions were imposed by India in Mar 2020. This move restores the bilateral visa-free agreement of Dec 2018," the High Commission of India in the Maldives tweeted.

Shahid Calls India Champion Of Multilateralism

The resumption of the 2018 Dec Visa Exemption Agreement between the Maldives and India came after last month, Shahid hailed his meeting with Minister of State for External Affairs Meenakshi Lekhi. The Maldivian Foreign Minister said ‘very good to meet with MoS’ as both top diplomats exchanged views on the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). At the time, on 9 September, he even said, “India is a champion of multilateralism. And I am confident of India’s support to the Presidency Of Hope”

IMAGE: AP

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