Indian High Commissioner Mahawar meets Maldives Foreign Minister Zameer; holds 'productive discussion' on a special partnership

Indian High Commissioner Mahawar meets Maldives Foreign Minister Zameer; holds 'productive discussion' on a special partnership

Male, Nov 23 (PTI) High Commissioner of India to the Maldives Ambassador Munu Mahawar on Thursday called on Moosa Zameer, the Foreign Minister of the strategically located archipelago nation in the Indian Ocean, and had a “productive discussion” on a special partnership between the two countries.

The meeting took place days after the newly-elected Maldives President Mohamed Muizzu formally asked India to withdraw 77 Indian military personnel from the country and decided to review more than 100 bilateral agreements between the two countries.

“Delighted to call on H.E. Foreign Minister @MoosaZameer. Conveyed greetings from EAM @DrSJaishankar. Had a very productive discussion on enhancing the special partnership between India and the Maldives,” Mahawar posted on X along with the photos of the meeting.

Zameer was appointed as the Maldives Foreign Minister by Muizzu, an engineer-turned-politician, who took oath as the eighth President of the Maldives on November 17 at a ceremony attended by a multitude of foreign dignitaries, including Union Minister of Earth Sciences Kiren Rijiju.

Mahawar’s meeting with Zameer comes a day after he – along with Muizzu – visited the site of the Greater Male Connectivity Project on Wednesday. “Under the President’s #Hafutha14 roadmap, we will work with financing and implementing partners to evaluate and expedite the completion of the project,” he posted on X.

The Male connectivity project was launched in 2022 and is being built under India's USD 100 million grant and USD 400 million line of Credit. A 6.74-km-long bridge and causeway link is being built to connect the capital city Male with the adjoining islands of Villingli, Gulhifalhu, and Thilafushi as part of this project.

“President Dr Mohamed Muizzu has previously pledged to expedite the completion of the Greater Male' Connectivity - Male' to Thilafushi Link Project. The evaluation of the Thilamale’ bridge project's status aligns with the government's commitments outlined in the 'Hafutha 14' roadmap,” a statement from the President’s office said after the visit.

Soon after Zameer was appointed as the Foreign Minister, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar congratulated him with a post on X that said: “Look forward to working closely with you to further India-Maldives special relationship.” Zameer reciprocated with: “I look forward to working with you on issues of mutual interest and concern, and to recalibrate and advance the time-tested relationship between our two countries for the betterment of our people.” Maldives’ proximity to the west coast of India (barely 70 nautical miles away from Minicoy and 300 nautical miles away from India’s West coast), and its location at the hub of commercial sea lanes running through the Indian Ocean gives it significant strategic importance to India. PTI NPK AKJ NPK NPK

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