PM Modi’s First Foreign Trip After Swearing In Most Likely To Be Maldives
June 7-8 are the dates the Maldivian Government is working with for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s first state visit. Official confirmations from both sides are awaited. After the May 30th swearing-in, this will be the PM’s first official travel abroad in his second term before he attends the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit in the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek on June 13-14 and the G-20 summit in Osaka in Japan on June 28-29. The PM was the only serving head of state to attend President Ibrahim Solih’s inauguration on November 17, 2018. President Solih made his first state visit abroad to India from December 17, 2018. SNI had first reported on the breakup of $1.4 billion in Indian assistance then: $200 million for immediate budgetary support, $50 million of which is a grant. India is buying Maldivian treasury bonds for the remaining $150 million. The currency swap deal has been increased to $400 million from $200 million. A line of credit of up to $800 million has been earmarked for development projects—the ‘worthiness’ of which the Government of Maldives will decide on. This $800 million is credit to the Maldivian Government on concessional terms at interest rates as low as 1.5 per cent. PM Modi did not visit the Maldives during his first term during Ex-President Abdulla Yameen’s term as he was seen to be tilting too much towards Beijing.
Replying to President Solih’s congratulations, PM Modi tweeted, ” I look forward to working closely with you to further strengthen our multifaceted partnership.” The PM also received a call from Ex-President Mohamed Nasheed on May 26. While Ex-President Nasheed stressed the importance of close cooperation to fight forces of extremism and radicalisation in the region, the PM reiterated the commitment to continue fostering a strong, mutually beneficial all-round partnership. The former President Nasheed has raised eyebrows at the end of voting in India, much before the results on May 19 when he tweeted, “As Indian polls close, congratulations are in order for @narendramodi and the BJP. I am sure the Maldives people and Govt will be delighted to continue their close cooperation with the PM and the BJP-led Govt. “
Courtesy Maldives Presidency Nov 17, 2018