Development of India-Maldives ties based on mutual interests, reciprocal sensitivity: Jaishankar

New Delhi, May 9 (PTI) Development of India-Maldives ties is based on “mutual interests” and “reciprocal sensitivity”, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said on Thursday during his talks with his Maldivian counterpart Moosa Zameer.

Zameer is New Delhi in the first high-level trip from Male after the Maldives’ pro-China president Mohamed Muizzu assumed office six months ago.

“As close and proximate neighbours, the development of our ties is obviously based on mutual interests and reciprocal sensitivity,” Jaishankar said in his opening remarks in his meeting with Zameer.

“As far as India is concerned, these are articulated in terms of our Neighbourhood First policy and SAGAR (Security and Growth for all in the Region) vision. I hope that our meeting today will enable us to strengthen the convergence of our perspectives in various domains,” he said.

The ties between the two countries came under severe strain in view of Muizzu insisting on withdrawal of Indian military personnel operating three military platforms in the island nation.

India has already withdrawn most of its military personnel. Muizzu had set May 10 as the deadline for withdrawal of the Indian military troops from his country.

“India has been a key provider of development assistance to the Maldives. Our projects have benefited the people of your country; contributed to the quality of life. They range from infrastructure projects and social initiatives to medical evacuation and health facilities,” Jaishankar said.

“We have also extended financial support on favourable terms in the past. India has been a First Responder on numerous occasions for Maldives,” he said.

“Our cooperation has also enhanced the security and well-being of your country through shared activities, equipment provisioning, capacity building and training,” Jaishankar added.

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