An inter-ministerial delegation from India led by Joint Secretary in Ministry of External Affairs Harsh Vardhan Shringla visited the Maldives from July 23-24 to meet with political leaders ahead of the upcoming elections.
According to a statement from the High Commission in Male, Shringla called on President Mohamed Waheed and “highlighted the close, friendly and long standing bilateral relations between India and the Maldives. Mr Shringla also held meetings with the other presidential candidates – former President Mohamed Nasheed, PPM presidential candidate Abdulla Yameen and JP presidential candidate Gasim Ibrahim.
“He emphasised to all concerned the importance of conducting free, fair, credible and inclusive elections in a peaceful environment followed by a smooth transfer of power. He conveyed India’s commitment to supporting the institutions of democracy in the Maldives and its desire to see a peaceful, stable and prosperous Maldives.”
During the visit Shringla called on Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr Ahmed Samad Abdullah “to exchange views on the various aspects of the bilateral relationship”, and Attorney General Azima Shakoor.
Shringla also met with Minister of Defence and Security, Mohamed Nazim, “to discuss India’s increasing engagement with the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF), including training of officials to supply of equipment. They signed an agreement on cooperation between the two countries on various defence projects.”
“As part of his visit, Mr.Shringla paid a visit to Indian ship ‘INS Sukanya’, which was visiting Maldives to conduct a joint patrol operation with the MNDF aimed at monitoring and protecting the Maldives Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ),” the statement concluded.