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QUESTION NO.657 VISIT OF FOREIGN MINISTER OF MALDIVES

February 08, 2018

RAJYA SABHA
UNSTARRED QUESTION NO.657
TO BE ANSWERED ON 08.02.2018

VISIT OF FOREIGN MINISTER OF MALDIVES

657. DR. T. SUBBARAMI REDDY:

Will the Minister of EXTERNAL AFFAIRS be pleased to state:

(a) Whether Foreign Minister of Maldives visited New Delhi recently to discuss bilateral relations and if so, the details thereof;

(b) the efforts made by Government to achieve full potential of relationship between India and Maldives in view of Chinese influence in Maldives and their signing of Free Trade Agreement with China;

(c) the progress made in finalizing the Free Trade Agreement with Maldives; and

(d) whether talks held to resolve the issue of delay and ensure early progress on all the pending development projects that India is supporting in Maldives and if so, the details thereof?

ANSWER
THE MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
[GEN. (DR) V. K. SINGH (RETD)]

(a) to (d) Foreign Minister of Maldives Dr. Mohamed Asim visited New Delhi from 10-12 January 2018 as the Special Envoy of the President of Maldives. He was received by the Prime Minister and held bilateral talks with the External Affairs Minister on 11 January 2018.

Discussions centred around strengthening of the development partnership between India and Maldives and enhancing defence and security cooperation. External Affairs Minister conveyed India’s commitment to achieving the full potential of our relationship in line with India’s Neighbourhood First policy. Foreign Minister of Maldives reaffirmed his Government’s India First policy and emphasized that Maldives attached the highest priority to its ties with India.

India and Maldives enjoy close and friendly relations based on mutual trust and cooperation. Bilateral ties have continued to grow, especially in the areas of defence & security, health, education, capacity building, infrastructure development and trade and investment. Both countries are parties to the South Asian Free Trade Area (SAFTA). However, presently no separate bilateral Free Trade Agreement is envisaged.

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