Maldives, India top diplomats to meet on Saturday

Maldives, India top diplomats to meet on Saturday
October 08 16:08 2015

Foreign Minister Dunya Maumoon will meet her Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj in Malé on Saturday to review and plan the future course for bilateral relations.

The foreign ministers are holding a meeting of the Maldives–India joint commission after a 15-year hiatus.

The commission’s “fifth session will be an opportunity for the Maldives and India to further enhance the existing close cordial ties between the two countries,” the foreign ministry said in a statement.

Swaraj’s official visit to the Maldives follows a visit by Foreign Secretary Dr. S. Jaishankar in early August.

Dunya met with Swaraj in New York on September 30 on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.

According to Indian media reports, Swaraj’s visit comes amid growing worries over China’s influence in the Maldives. The minister of external affairs will be the highest-ranking Indian official to visit the Maldives since the February political crisis, triggered by the arrest and imprisonment of opposition leaders, including former President Mohamed Nasheed.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi dropped the Maldives from his Indian Ocean tour in March.