Narendra Modi to visit Maldives for Ibrahim Mohamed Solih’s swearing-in
Modi will also be visiting Singapore to take part in the 13th East Asia Summit and hold other meetings on 14-15 November
New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will attend the swearing-in ceremony of Maldivian President-elect Ibrahim Mohamed Solih on 17 November, the Indian external affairs ministry said on Friday.
Modi’s Male visit comes at a time when the political situation in the Maldives is seen as stabilizing while uncertainty clouds the political process in neighbouring Sri Lanka.
Solih, elected in the 23 September elections in the atoll nation, had last month invited Modi during a telephone call placed by the Indian Prime Minister congratulating the President-elect.
With this trip to Male, Modi will complete visits to all seven South Asian countries since taking office on 26 May 2014.
Modi was supposed to visit the Maldives in March 2015 but it was called off at the last minute given the political turmoil in the country, the arrests and detention of political opponents by then President Abdullah Yameen.
Even as the political situation in Male stabilizes, uncertainty clouds the political process in Sri Lanka where President Maithripala Sirisena last month appointed China-leaning former President Mahinda Rajapaksa as the prime minister, making the incumbent prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s position tenuous. Both the Maldives and Sri Lanka are key neighbours of India in the Indian Ocean region where India and China are seen as vying for increased influence.
Modi will also be visit Singapore to take part in the 13th East Asia Summit and hold other meetings on 14-15 November, according to Indian foreign ministry spokesman Raveesh Kumar.
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