This was their eighth meeting since November 2018

Maldivian Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid who arrived in New Delhi on a two-day visit, met External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Friday. This was their eighth meeting since November 2018 when a new government under President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih took office in Maldives.

This visit took place close on the heels of EAM S Jaishankar’s visit to Maldives in February this year. During this visit, the Maldivian Foreign Minister also participated in Raisina Dialogue through virtual mode.

EAM Jaishankar and his Maldivian counterpart discussed issues of mutual interests pertaining to bilateral, regional and international domains. The Covid-19 pandemic and avenues of Indian assistance in this field was also discussed, people familiar with the development said.

The Maldivian Foreign Minister requested the Indian side for renewal of Directorate General of Foreign Trade notifications regarding assured supply of essential commodities to Maldives from India as per the bilateral trade agreement. The EAM assured that Indian commitment will be honored, sources said.

The EAM re-affirmed India's support for the Maldivian Foreign Minister’s candidacy as the President of 76th UN General Assembly.

They also expressed satisfaction with the growing number of Indian tourists visiting Maldives, which is aiding Maldivian economy in these difficult times.

Under the bilateral air bubble arrangement, India is already the number one tourist market for Maldives with Indian tourists occupying 23% of international tourist arrivals in Maldives.

They reviewed the status of ongoing India assisted projects in Maldives. Currently, India is developing projects of $2bn spanning across large infrastructure such as ports, roads, bridges, water and sanitation, as well as socio-economic development directly impacting livelihoods of Maldivians.

Both Ministers also exchanged views on international organizations including UN, OIC, Commonwealth and SAARC and developments of common interest in the region.