President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has yesterday spoken to the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, over the telephone, and discussed a wide range of issues of mutual interest.
The President thanked India for its decision to renew the quota for the import of essential commodities for a period of three years. Quotas for essential commodities were previously granted yearly. The President noted that this was the largest quota approved to date, and that this will bring greater predictability of imports and reassurance for businesses.
The President and the Prime Minister discussed ongoing socioeconomic development projects in the Maldives under India’s assistance. The President noted that the continued support from India despite the Covid-19 pandemic has bolstered the Government’s efforts to curb the detrimental impact on the economic progress and social wellbeing of the Maldivian people during this time of need.
The President reiterated his gratitude for the Prime Minister and the Government of India for gifting the first batch of 100,000 doses of Covishield vaccine that kick-started the vaccination programme in the Maldives earlier this year. The President further mentioned India’s assistance to evacuate Maldivian citizens from Wuhan, China at the start of the pandemic, donating and airlifting essential medicines, and for providing the expertise of a medical team to help tackle the Covid-19 health emergency. The President also noted with appreciation that establishing an air bubble between the Maldives and India has contributed significantly to gradually recover the downturn of the tourism sector due to Covid-19.
The Prime Minister assured India’s full support to the Maldives in managing the Covid-19 recovery response. He also offered warm congratulations to Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid on being elected as the President of the 76th United Nations General Assembly.
The call ended with both the President and the Prime Minister reiterating their mutual commitment to elevate the close ties of friendship and cooperation between the Maldives and India.