EAM Jaishankar holds talks with Maldives Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid in Male

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar with his Maldivian counterpart Abdulla Shahid (Twitter/@abdulla_shahid) - Sakshi Post

Male: Terming India’s relationship with it’s key maritime neighbour Maldives as ‘time-tested’, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said this relationship is ‘poised for a quantum jump’ as it will touch the lives of the people of the two countries like never before. 

Jaishankar kicked off his five-day visit to the key maritime neighbours in the Indian Ocean on Saturday. He will travel to another island nation Sri Lanka on March 28. New Delhi is trying to proactively reach out with projects and initiatives to counter China’s influence in the Indian Ocean waters. 

In Male, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar held talks with his counterpart Abdulla Shahid and later both the leaders addressed a joint press conference. Jaishankar said, “We are partners in development, we are promoting peace and security, and our relationship, in many ways, serves as a model for the region. It is a partnership that delivers for its stakeholders – the citizens of our countries – both in good times and in bad times.”

In an attempt to boost the tourism industry, both the countries have also agreed to mutually recognise the COVID-19 vaccine certificates issued by each other. During COVID-19 pandemic, Indian had supplied over 2 lakh doses to Covishield vaccine to Maldives as part of its grant assistance.

India is building a $500 mn Greater Male Connectivity project which after its completion would interconnect three islands of Male. In addition to this, the Indian government has also undertaken projects like the police training school, drug rehab clinic in Addu city including an airport, road laying projects, drainage and land reclamation. 

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