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Maldives has special relationship with India, its “immediate next-door neighbour”: Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid – World News Network

New Delhi [India], July 11 (ANI): Calling India an immediate next-door neighbour on Tuesday, Maldives Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid said that the island nation has a special relationship with India.
Delivering the 43rd Sapru House lecture at the Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA) in New Delhi today, the foreign minister of Maldives said, “Our partnership is with everyone. We have a special relationship with India. India is our immediate next-door neighbour.”
Describing the Maldives as the “Heart of the Indian Ocean”, Abdulla Shahid said that strategic location often comes with great responsibility.
“The strategic location comes with a serious responsibility. It understands the crucial space it has in the Indian Ocean. We understand our role in it. The fate of the Indian Ocean and ours is connected,” he said during his lecture at the ICWA today.
“There will be relationships that will build resilience within our countries. A key partner in this regard is India. One of the first that Solih met was PM Modi. Since then the relationship has been exemplary. India has contributed in a big way to the resilience of Maldives,” the foreign minister added.
While speaking in the national capital, the Maldivian FM also recalled his time as the UNGA President and said that it was at that time when he delivered a lecture at ICWA.
The minister said that it is important to understand why small island nation-states struggle to stand up to such roles.
“I delivered a lecture here at the ICWA when I was the UNGA president. It is important to understand why small island states find it difficult to stand up to such roles (UNGA presidency). They cast doubt our ability to take responsibility. After all this, how do small states survive in these context ? These are questions we keep asking. The strategies are quite successful that we implemented after being independent,” Abdullah Shahid said.
The Maldivian FM also spoke at length on the ongoing war in Ukraine and underlined how the conflict has become one of the biggest shocks to the multilateral system.
Earlier today, the Maldivian FM met his Indian counterpart S Jaishankar and held delegation-level talks with him. The two sides discussed several bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual interest.
Moreover, India and Maldives also exchanged nine new Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) today.
“Today, #Maldives and #India exchanged 9 new MoUs under Phase II of the High Impact Community Development Projects Scheme,” the Foreign Minister of Maldives, Abdulla Shahid tweeted.
Maldives has special relationship with India, its "immediate next-door neighbour": Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid - World News Network
“The Maldives Foreign Minister’s visit is in continuation of the series of high-level visits from both sides and is expected to lend further momentum to the substantive bilateral cooperation between the two countries,” the Ministry of External Affairs said in an official release.
Maldives is India’s key maritime neighbour in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) and occupies a special place in the Prime Minister’s vision of ‘SAGAR’ (Security and Growth for All in the Region) and the ‘Neighbourhood First Policy’.(ANI)


Disclaimer: This story is auto-generated from a syndicated feed of ANI; only the image & headline may have been reworked by News Services Division of World News Network Inc Ltd and Palghar News and Pune News and World News


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