New Delhi: In another development, Union Home Minister Amit Shah will on Friday hold a bilateral meeting with his Maldivian counterpart Sheikh Imran Abdulla in the national capital. During the meeting, he will discuss security cooperation between the two countries. Also Read - China Objects to Amit Shah's Visit to Arunachal Pradesh; India Dismisses Claims
However, this is Amit Shah’s first meeting with Abdulla, who is on a four-day visit to India beginning on Thursday. Also Read - Article 371 Will Never be Scrapped, Amit Shah Assures Arunachal While China Opposes Shah's Visit on Statehood Day
During the bilateral meeting, the Indian delegation will be led by Shah and the Maldivian team by Abdulla. Both the ministers during the meeting will discuss issues related to bilateral security and mutual interest. Also Read - ‘Will Work Together For Development of Delhi,' Says Kejriwal After Meeting Amit Shah
The meeting of the two ministers assumes significance as India and Maldives share ethnic, linguistic, cultural, religious and commercial links steeped in antiquity.
The relationships between the two countries have been cordial except for a brief period between February 2012 and November 2018.
India was among the first to recognise the Maldives after its independence in 1965 and to establish diplomatic relations with the country.
Proximity of Maldives to the west coast of India (it is barely 70 nautical miles away from Minicoy and 300 nautical miles away from India’s West coast), and its situation at the hub of commercial sea-lanes running through the Indian Ocean and its potential to allow a third nation’s naval presence in the area imbues it with significant strategic importance to India.