Visit to Maldives, Sri Lanka will strengthen ties: Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (File Photo: IANS)

New Delhi (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday expressed confidence that his visit to Maldives and Sri Lanka would further strengthen India's cordial ties with the maritime neighbours.

In his departure statement, the Prime Minister said he will meet President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih in the Maldives and the top Sri Lankan leadership in Colombo.

"I am confident that my visit to the Maldives and Sri Lanka will further strengthen our close and cordial ties with our maritime neighbours, in line with our 'Neighbourhood-First Policy' and the vision of security and growth for all in the region," Modi said. 

In his first overseas trip after his re-election, the Prime Minister will be visiting Maldives and Sri Lanka on June 8 and June 9, respectively, at the invitation of Maldives President Solih and Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena.

"My visit to the Maldives is reflective of the importance we both attach to our relationship as maritime neighbours and long-standing friends," he said, describing Maldives as a "valued partner" with whom India shares deep bonds of history and culture.

He said: "Our bilateral relations with the Maldives have been greatly strengthened in the recent past. I am confident that my visit will further deepen our multifaceted partnership."

The Prime Minister said his visit to Sri Lanka is to express solidarity with the government and the people of Sri Lanka in the wake of the Easter Sunday terrorist attacks. 

"India stands with Sri Lanka in the fight against terrorism. Our bilateral relations with Sri Lanka have gained considerable momentum in the last few years. I look forward to meeting the Sri Lankan leadership during my visit," Modi said.

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