India-Maldives Joint Statement during the State Visit of Prime Minister to Maldives

  1. Prime Minister of India H.E. Shri Narendra Modi, is on a State Visit to the Maldives from 8 to 9 June 2019, at the invitation of the President of the Republic of Maldives H.E. Mr Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.
  2. This is PM Modi’s first overseas visit after taking oath of office for a second term, on 30 May 2019. The visit is an important symbolic gesture reflective of the special relationship that exists between the two countries.
  3. After a ceremonial welcome in Malé, President Solih and PM Modi held one-on-one talks followed by delegation level talks on 8 June 2019 in a warm, cordial and friendly atmosphere.
  4. President Solih will host an Official Banquet in honour of PM Modi later this evening.
  5. PM Modi will address a session of the newly constituted People’s Majlis (Parliament of Maldives) on 8 June where he will speak of his vision for a democratic, just and equitable world and his desire to see sustainable peace and progress in the Indian Ocean region. PM Modi is only the second foreign Head of State or Government to address the People’s Majlis in its 86 year history. The Speaker of the Parliament Mohamed Nasheed will meet with PM Modi prior to the address.
  6. Vice President Faisal Naseem, Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdulla Shahid, former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, former Speaker Qasim Ibrahim, and Minister of Home Affairs Imran Abdullah, will pay separate calls on PM Modi.
  7. President Solih warmly recalled his State Visit to India in December 2018 – his first official visit abroad, and the special gesture extended to him and the First Lady and the invitation to stay at the Rashtrapati Bhawan. PM Modi recalled his visit to the Maldives in November 2018, and thanked the President for the special gesture of inviting him to his inauguration ceremony.
  8. The two leaders reiterated their strong commitment to further strengthening and invigorating the traditionally strong and friendly relations between India and the Maldives, nurtured by geographical contiguity, ethnic, historical, socio-economic and cultural ties between the peoples of the two countries. They also reiterated an abiding faith in, and commitment to democracy, development and peaceful co-existence. President Solih expressed, on behalf of the people of Maldives, his deep appreciation at the friendly and special gesture demonstrated by PM Modi in choosing Maldives as his first overseas destination during his second term in office.
  9. President Solih congratulated PM Modi for the overwhelming mandate received by him during the recently concluded Lok Sabha Elections, and expressed his confidence in continuing to work together to further enhance ties. PM Modi congratulated the people of Maldives for the peaceful and successful conduct of the Parliamentary elections in April 2019, and the decisive verdict of the people.
  10. President Solih reaffirmed his government’s "India-First Policy” and pledged his government’s full support towards deepening the multifaceted, mutually beneficial partnership between India and the Maldives, which has traditionally been characterized by trust, transparency, mutual understanding and sensitivity.
  11. PM Modi stressed the high importance that India attaches to its relationship with Maldives and reiterated his determination to work together with Maldives to realize his vision of inclusive development enshrined in his motto "Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwaas” (Together with all, for development of all and with trust of all)
  12. PM Modi congratulated President Solih, for his commitment to realizing the vision for an inclusive, just, decentralized, and people-centric governance, as well as sustainable development. Recalling his Government’s policy of "Neighbourhood First”, the Prime Minister of India assured India’s full support to the Maldives in realizing its aspirations for broad based socio-economic development, and strengthening of democratic and independent institutions.
  13. The two sides signed the following MoUs/Technical Agreements during the visit:
    • MoU for Cooperation in the Field of Hydrography ·
    • MoU on Cooperation in the field of Health ·
    • MoU for the Establishment of Passenger and Cargo Services by Sea ·
    • MoU for Cooperation in Customs Capacity Building between the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs of India and the Maldives Customs Service ·
    • MoU between National Centre for Good Governance, Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances and Maldives Civil Service Commission on Training and Capacity Building Programme for Maldivian Civil Servants ·
    • Technical Agreement on Sharing White Shipping Information between the Indian Navy and the Maldives National Defence Force
  14. The leaders also jointly inaugurated the Composite Training Facility of the Maldives National Defence Force in Maafilafushi, and the Coastal Surveillance Radar System by remote link.
  15. Both leaders reviewed the progress made on the commitments announced during the State Visit. President Solih thanked the Government of India for the generous financial support extended to the Government of Maldives, in the forms of budgetary support, T-bills, currency swap, and Lines of Credit. President Solih appreciated the prompt disbursement of the budgetary cash grant and subscription to Government of Maldives’ Treasury Bills.
  16. Both leaders welcomed the signing of the US$800 million Dollar Line of Credit Agreement in March 2019, for assisting the Maldives to achieve sustainable social and economic development. The leaders stressed the need to work towards expeditious implementation of people-centric and socio-economic projects including in areas of water and sanitation for many islands, Addu city urban development and support for SME Finance Corporation under the US$ 800 million Dollar Line of Credit Agreement. They also decided to work on other projects in the pipeline including in sectors such as port development, health, agriculture, fisheries, tourism and energy.
  17. Both leaders also welcomed the signing of the MoU on Indian Grant Assistance of US$5.5 million (equivalent to MVR 85 million or INR400 million) for the Implementation of High Impact Community Development Projects through local bodies in March 2019. President Solih also thanked the Government of India for the cash grant of US$6.9 million (equivalent to MVR 106 million or INR 500 million) for implementation of socio-economic development projects. Both leaders expressed their happiness that the grant was being used to support community infrastructure, healthy lifestyles, access to education, health, law and order and environmental protection.
  18. Both leaders agreed that dynamic people to people contact formed the backbone of the relationship between the countries. They acknowledged the valuable contribution of workers, students, travellers, and tourists towards the economies and communities of both countries. In this regard, they welcomed the entry-into-force of the Visa Facilitation Agreement, signed during President Solih’s State visit to India in December 2018. They expressed their commitment to address issues related to the welfare of the respective communities residing in both countries, including the speedy provision of consular services.
  19. The leaders noted that considerable progress has been made under the MoU on Cultural Cooperation and the MoU for Establishing Mutual Cooperation to Improve the Ecosystem for Agribusiness signed during President Solih’s State visit to India in December 2018, and directed the concerned officials to expeditiously deliver on the identified areas of cooperation. President Solih thanked the Indian side for their offer to carry out restoration of the Hukuru Miskiy (Friday Mosque) by the Archaeological Survey of India under an Indian grant. He also appreciated the recent visit of senior scientists of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research and their ongoing cooperation with the Maldivian counterparts.
  20. Highlighting the importance of combatting the impact of climate change, especially detrimental to developing countries, including Small Island Developing States such as the Maldives, the two leaders agreed on the need to strengthen the global response to climate change, through the UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement. The leaders also welcomed collaborative efforts being undertaken under the MoU in the field of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, signed in March 2019, and acknowledged progress made including the gifting of LED bulbs and LED street lights for Malé city, which will lead to further cooperation in the field of new and renewable energy.
  21. Both leaders agreed to enhance cooperation in the field of youth and sports, particularly in cricket. President Solih thanked the Government of India for its offer to construct a cricket stadium of international standards at Hulhumalé under the Line of Credit, and for its gracious offer for comprehensive development of cricket in the Maldives through professional coaching, playing in Indian tournaments and adequate infrastructure. While acknowledging training already being provided to Maldivian athletes in India, both leaders also instructed their Ministers to explore cooperation in other sports activities.
  22. PM Modi thanked President Solih for allotting land for the new Chancery Building in the Diplomatic Enclave in Hulhumalé.
  23. Recognising the importance of investing in human resource development, both leaders acknowledged that the visit of adelegation from National Skills Development Corporation in January 2019, and the upcoming visit of an inter-ministerial team to India in July will identify new opportunities for capacity building. President Solih thanked the Government of India for the 1000 additional training slots over next five years, offered during the State visit to India in December 2018, and for ongoing training for civil servants, women entrepreneurs, and training for diplomats and familiarisation visits of journalists in July 2019.
  24. Both leaders emphasised the need to improve connectivity between the two countries through the establishment of enabling infrastructure and in this regard, directed their concerned officials to expeditiously work towards starting a regular passenger-cum-cargo ferry service between Kochi (India) and Kulhudhuffushi and Malé (Maldives).
  25. Recognising health as an important area of bilateral cooperation, President Solih thanked the Government of India for its assistance in setting up and renovating the Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital, and regular capacity building support, which stands as an enduring symbol of friendship between the two countries. Both leaders expressed hope that the MoU on Health Cooperation signed during the visit will further strengthen these ties. The leaders acknowledged the exemplary service provided by the helicopters of the Indian Navy and Indian Coast Guard in medical evacuations, saving over 200 lives so far.
  26. The two leaders reaffirmed their unequivocal and uncompromising position against terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, both within the region and elsewhere. In this context, President Solih thanked the Indian side for providing capacity building support to MNDF. In recognition that the security interests of both countries are interlinked in the region, they reiterated their assurance of being mindful of each other’s concerns and aspirations for the stability of the region and not allowing their respective territories to be used for any activity inimical to the other.
  27. The two leaders agreed on the importance of maintaining peace and security in the Indian Ocean Region, and to strengthen coordination in enhancing maritime security in the region, through coordinated patrolling and aerial surveillance, exchange of information, and capacity building. The two leaders acknowledged the recent joint exercise Ekatha conducted in April 2019. Both sides agreed to enhance bilateral cooperation on issues of common concern including piracy, terrorism, organised crime, drugs and human trafficking. They agreed to set up a Joint Working Group on Counter Terrorism, Countering Violent Extremism and De-radicalisation.
  28. The two leaders acknowledged the importance of regional cooperation in advancing development, and agreed that both countries would harness the advantages of regional and sub-regional transport and connectivity, renewable energy, education, environment and sustainable development to mutual advantage.
  29. The two sides also recognised the need to pursue reform of the main UN bodies, including the revitalisation of the UN General Assembly and expansion of the UN Security Council. President Solih reiterated his country’s support for India’s candidature for permanent membership of an expanded and reformed UN Security Council, and for India’s candidature for a non-permanent seat for the year 2020-2021.
  30. PM Modi congratulated Maldives on submitting its Instrument of Ratification for the Framework Agreement for the Establishment of the International Solar Alliance.
  31. To further enhance close cooperation between both sides, the leaders decided to intensify and increase high level interaction including regular Ministerial and official level visits.
  32. PM Modi thanked President Solih for the warmth, cordiality and gracious hospitality extended to him and members of his delegation during their stay in Maldives.

June 08, 2019

MEA Library Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India