Our ties depend on mutual interests & reciprocal sensitivity, Jaishankar tells Maldives FM

NEW DELHI: Amid tension between India and the Maldives over the operation of Indian aviation platforms in the archipelago, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, on Thursday, held talks with visiting Maldivian Foreign Minister Moosa Zameer on bilateral issues as well as regional developments.
“As close and proximate neighbours, the development of our ties is obviously based on mutual interests and reciprocal sensitivity,” Dr Jaishankar told the Maldivian minister.
He said as far as India is concerned, it has already articulated its commitment to ”The Neighbourhood First” policy and the SAGAR vision.
India, Dr Jaishankar said, has been a key provider of development assistance to the Maldives. ”Our projects have benefited the lives of people of your country; contributed directly to the quality of life. They range from infrastructure projects and social initiatives to medical evacuation and health facilities. We have also extended financial support on favourable terms in the past. India has been a First Responder on numerous occasions for Maldives. Our cooperation has also enhanced the security and well-being of your country through shared activities, equipment provisioning, capacity building and training,” he added.
Noting that the world today is passing through a volatile and uncertain period, the Indian minister said that in such times, as was noticed during Covid, natural disasters and economic difficulties, close partnerships with neighbours are of great value.
The Maldivian minister said he discussed with the Indian leader the possibility of a visit by Maldives President Mohamed Muizzu to India.
On discussions on debt relief measures, Mr Zameer said, “Economic cooperation with India has been an integral part of the Maldivian economy. So, obviously, if there is any debt in any country that we are in, we need to discuss based on those figures. So, I did discuss that and we will continue to be engaged.”
He acknowledged that the Maldivian people have benefited from the debt that the country has received and also from a lot of grants that it has received from the Indian government.

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