MALE: The island nation of Maldives is all set to welcome Prime Minister Narendra Modi for a "historic" bilateral visit, his first after coming to power for a second consecutive term.
PM Modi, who embarked on his first visit after re-election to close maritime neighbours the Maldives and Sri Lanka, has arrived at the Male Airport.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrives at Male Airport. PM Modi is on his state visit to Maldives, this is his first overseas visit after his re-election. pic.twitter.com/BRNFyE9WJI
— ANI (@ANI) June 8, 2019
During his two-day visit, the PM will also travel to Sri Lanka after the Maldives.
PM Modi’s visit is in tune with the 'India first policy' of Male and 'Neighbourhood First' policy of New Delhi.
The streets in Male are decked up with flags of India and Maldives, to welcome PM Modi and his delegation.
— Raveesh Kumar (@MEAIndia) June 8, 2019
"It is a very historic visit. It will allow us to discuss the entire gamut of bilateral relations. All preparation is in place. It is a big honour for us as the visit has been given the status of a state visit, " Ambassador of India to the Maldives, Sunjay Sudhir, said.
The Prime Minister will meet Maldives President Ibrahim Solih and the two leaders are expected to sign several agreements related to customs cooperation, capacity building, defence and connectivity issues.
They will also jointly inaugurate a couple of projects, including the crucial coastal surveillance radar system, which is key to enhancing maritime security in the Indian Ocean region.
The Prime Minister is also scheduled to address the Maldives Parliament.
This is only the second time that any foreign leader will address the Majlis (Maldives Parliament.
Last Month, the Maldivian Parliament unanimously passed a resolution for inviting PM Modi to address the House during his visit.
Besides Solih, PM Modi will also meet Vice-President Faisal Naseem and Speaker of Majlis (the Maldivian Parliament) and former President Mohamed Nasheed.
PM Modi had earlier visited the island nation in November last year to attend the swearing-in ceremony of Solih, who assumed office after defeating Abdulla Yameen in the presidential polls.
During Solih`s visit to India in December, New Delhi had announced financial assistance of USD 1.4 billion to Male.Modi will visit Sri Lanka on June 9.
Meanwhile, the Maldives government has announced that it will confer its highest honour accorded to foreign dignitaries - Order of the Distinguished Rule of Nishan Izzuddeen - on Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his first bilateral visit on Saturday after being re-elected for a second term.
Maldivian Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid announced said on Twitter that the decision was taken by nation`s President Ibrahim Mohammad Solih.
President @ibusolih has announced his decision to confer on PM of India H.E. @narendramodi the Maldives highest honour accorded to foreign dignitaries, “The Most Honourable Order of the Distinguished Rule of Nishan Izzuddeen” during PM’s visit today. Namaskar, Swagatham
— Abdulla Shahid (@abdulla_shahid) June 8, 2019
PM Modi will then visit Sri Lanka on June 9 and will hold meetings with the President, the Prime Minister and the Leader of Opposition of the island country.
(With Agency inputs)