External Affairs minister Jaishankar to visit Maldives, Sri Lankatext_fields
New Delhi: Union External Affairs Minister S Jaishanakar has scheduled trips to the Maldives and Sri Lanka from March 26 to 30, The Indian Express reported citing the Ministry of External Affairs' announcement on Saturday.
Reaching the Maldives on Saturday, the minister will visit the Addu city and meet Maldives President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih. He will hold discussions with the Maldivian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Abdulla Shahid.
MEA said that the visit would include the signing of multiple bilateral agreements aiming at development, cooperation and inauguration of some pivotal India-supported projects that will back the socio-economic development of Maldives, enhancing its security.
Jaishankar's visit to Srilanka is scheduled for March 28 to 30. The Srilankan Minister of Finance Basil Rajapaksa had visited India in December 2021 and early March 2022. Srilankan Minister of Foreign Affairs GL Peiris had visited India in February 2022. Therefore, Jaishankar's visit also accounts for reciprocating them.
MEA, in its statement, said that the bilateral meetings and interactions that the External Affairs Minister will have in Sri Lanka highlight the priority that the country occupies for India.
The Indian foreign minister is also to participate in the BIMSTEC Ministerial Meeting on March 29 in Colombo. MEA said that Sri Lanka and the Maldives are India's crucial maritime neighbours in the Indian Ocean Region. They occupy unique places in the Prime Minister's vision of 'SAGAR' and Neighbourhood First Policy.
MEA also said that Jaishanker's visit is a testimony to the importance that India attaches to its close and friendly relations with the Maldives and Sri Lanka.