Male, Nov 17 (PTI) Prime Minister Narendra Modi left for home on Saturday after wrapping up his visit to Maldives where he attended the swearing-in ceremony of the country’s new President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and held talks with him to strengthen bilateral ties with the strategic Indian Ocean nation.

The two leaders, while noting the resilience of the relations between India and the Maldives, expressed confidence in the renewal of the close bonds of cooperation and friendship with the election of Solih as the President.

India is looking forward to working closely with the new Maldivian President Solih to strengthen bilateral relations, Modi said.

Ministry of External Affairs spokesman Raveesh Kumar said that it was a “significant day-trip”.

“PM @narendramodi departs for Delhi after a brief but historic visit to #Maldives to attend the inauguration ceremony of President @ibusolih. Visit emphasized India’s role as a reliable neighbour, supporting Maldives in its progress & security,” Kumar said in a tweet.

Solih, 54, the opposition Maldivian Democratic Party’s candidate, surprisingly defeated strongman Abdulla Yameen in the election held on September 23.

The ties between India and the Maldives came under strain under Yameen who was perceived to be close to China.

Some decisions by Yameen including imposition of restrictions on work visas for Indians and signing of a new Free Trade Agreement with Beijing also did not go down well with New Delhi.

Relations between India and the Maldives deteriorated further after Yameen imposed emergency on February 5.

India had criticised his decision and asked his government to restore the credibility of the electoral and political process by releasing political prisoners.The emergency lasted for 45 days.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.