Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Tuesday that India will give $100 million in credit to the Maldives to support development projects, while he was talking with his counterpart, President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.
Solih arrived in India on Monday for a four-day visit. The two countries signed six agreements in order to boost cooperation in several areas, including disaster management, cyber security and affordable housing.
The two leaders also marked the beginning of the construction on the Greater Male Connectivity ProjectMale Connectivity Project, a 6.74 kilometer long bridge and causeway funded by India that will connect the nation's capital, Male, to three other islands.
Both stressed the importance of close ties between their two countries as vital for peace and stability in the region.
There has been renewed vigor in the friendly relations between India and Maldives. The cooperation between the two countries has been strengthened despite challenges sparked by the Covid 19 flu, according to Modi.
Solih said that the two leaders discussed terrorism and the need to improve maritime safety and security in the Indian Ocean Neither mentioned China, but Solih's election in 2018 marked a shift from his predecessor, Abdulla Yameen Abdul GayoomYameen Abdul Gayoom, who developed close ties with Beijing in an area India considers as its backyard.
India has been concerned by Yameen's leaning towards China, which has tried to gain more influence in the Indian Ocean. The country invested in many infrastructure projects in the Maldives, as the former president pledged to support China's Belt and Road Initiative.
The Maldives will always be a true friend of India, Solih said on Tuesday. His visit followed an announcement that he will run for re-election in 2023. Since coming to power, the Maldivian president has pledged full support for deepening ties with New Delhi, and has touted his government's India-first policy.