New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi was conferred with the Maldives’ highest honour “Rule of Nishan Izzuddeen” during his visit on Saturday. He arrived at Male Airport in the Maldives on Saturday. This is his first overseas state visit after his re-election in the recently concluded Lok Sabha Elections as the Prime Minister of India. “The Most Honourable Order of the Distinguished Rule of Nishan Izzuddeen” is the Maldives’ highest honour accorded to foreign dignitaries, Foreign Minister Shahid said on Twitter ahead of his visit.

Modi was received by Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid at Male airport. The Prime Minister said India considers the Maldives as a valued partner with whom it shares deep bonds of history and culture.

Prime Minister Modi on Friday said that his visit to the Maldives reflects the importance India attaches to its ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy. The visit is further aimed at cementing ties with the Indian Ocean archipelago.

CATCH ALL THE LIVE UPDATES HERE:

  • Both the countries, Indian and the Maldives exchanged Memorandum of understanding.
  • PM Modi also said that it was essential to boost action on Climate change.
  • PM Modi also announced that India will contribute to the conservation of Maldives’ Friday Mosque also known as Hukuru Miskiy. He said, “There’s no such mosque elsewhere in the world like this historical mosque made up of coral.” The mosque is built using Coral in Addu.
  • Addressing the People’s Majlis in Maldives, the Prime Minister said, “I am happy that Maldives is working towards sustainable development and has become a part of the International Solar Alliance.”
  • Commenting on Terrorism, PM Modi said, “Terrorism is a danger not just for a country but the entire civilization. State sponsored terrorism is the biggest threat today. It is important for the world community to come together to fight the challenge of terrorism and radicalization.”
  • Reiterating the importance of India’s ‘Neighborhood First’ policy, Modi said, “Relations between India and Maldives are older than history. From time immemorial, blue waters have washed our shores. They have also nourished our cultures and civilisations.”
  • Addressing the Maldivian Parliament, PM Modi said, “I’m very happy to be present at People’s Majlis today. This decision to invite me was taken in the very first meeting after Mohamed Nasheed became Maldives’ parliamentary speaker. This gesture has touched the hearts of every Indian.”
  • The Prime Minister said, “By issuing RuPay Card in Maldives, there will be an increase in the number of Indian tourists in Maldives. We will soon take measures in this direction. Also, there have been discussions over making the defense services stronger in Maldives.”
  • PM Modi was quoted by news agency ANI as saying, “India gives utmost importance to its relationship with Maldives. We want to have a strong partnership with each other. India is willing to help Maldives in every way possible. May the friendship between India & Maldives last forever.”
  • Modi added that India has focused on projects benefiting the common citizens of Maldives in order to strengthen the partnership between the two nations.
  • The Prime Minister further said in Hindi that India has always stood with the Maldives in any natural calamity or any other problem.
  • After receiving the ‘The Most Honourable Order of the Distinguished Rule of Nishan Izzuddeen’ honour, Modi said, “Today, I have been conferred with Maldives’ highest honour, I humbly accept this it. It is not just an honour conferred upon me but it is respect given to the friendship and relations between our two countries.”
  • PM Narendra Modi conferred with Maldives’ highest honour accorded to foreign dignitaries, ‘The Most Honourable Order of the Distinguished Rule of Nishan Izzuddeen’.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President of Maldives Ibrahim Mohamed Solih conducted a meeting in Male.
  • Upon reaching the Republic of Maldives, Prime Minister Modi tweeted, “This visit indicates the importance India attaches to strong ties with the Republic of Maldives and the desire to boost cooperation in various spheres.”

Taking to the Twitter account, the Prime Minister on Friday said, “I thank President @ibusolih for inviting me to the Republic of Maldives. I also had the opportunity to be a part of the inauguration ceremony in November 2018. India views the Maldives as a valued partner with whom we share deep bonds of history and culture.” Commenting on the visit to the Maldives on June 8 and Sri Lanka on June 9, Modi also tweeted, “These visits indicate the importance we attach to the policy of ‘Neighbourhood First’ and will further cement ties with key maritime neighbours.”

Earlier, the prime minister visited the Maldives in November to attend President Ibrahim Solih’s swearing-in ceremony.

(With agency inputs)