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India, Maldives partnership to emerge stronger, says Jaishankar
Male: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Thursday said that the partnership between India and Maldives will emerge stronger than before as quality social infrastructure is being created across Maldives under this development partnership.
Congratulating the people of the inhabited islands in Maldives, Foakaidhoo for the successful completion of this project, the External Affairs Minister said that he is hopeful that people will make the best use of the creation for community bonding. "I know today, from this inauguration, our partnership will emerge stronger than before. Once again, I congratulate the people of Foakaidhoo on the development of this Community centre. I hope you make the best use of it for recreation, for community bonding and most of all for pursuing a healthy lifestyle," the External Affairs Minister said during his remarks at the inauguration of the Community Centre in Shaviyani Foakaidhoo on Thursday.
The External Affairs Minister also hailed Prime Minister Narendra Modi's leadership and President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and said that both countries have, in recent years, seen remarkable progress under their leadership.
Overwhelmed on his arrival at Foakaidhoo, Jaishankar added, "The community centre is an excellent example of the quality social infrastructure that is being created across the Maldives under the India-Maldives development partnership. I applaud the council and people of Foakaidhoo for the successful completion of this project."
He also thanked his Maldivian counterpart Abdulla Shahid for the effective coordination of the implementation of various high-impact community development projects in the Maldives.
India is supporting 45 such projects spread across 16 atolls and 36 islands through grant assistance while 23 of these projects have already been completed.
Moreover, a new project, for the development of a sports complex in Gaaf Dhaalu Gaddhoo has been added.
During his address, the EAM also stated that India would further take on additional community projects in the Maldives.
"I am also delighted to share that India will be extending a further MVR 100 million to take on additional community welfare projects just like this, in other parts of the Maldives," the EAM said.
The purpose of the project that we are inaugurating today is to encourage the local community, especially the youth and women to conduct and participate in various social activities, in economic activities which are necessary for their overall well-being and development, he added.
Highlighting PM Modi's Fit India and Khelo India campaigns during his address, Jaishankar said that the sports infrastructure across the islands will be developed through the dedicated concessional USD 40 million Line of Credit.
"I should add here that in India, we have two movements which the Prime Minister has personally propagated. One is called Fit India, to encourage all of us to be fit and the other is called Khelo India for the young people to take part in sports. For me today, this is a way of taking Fit India and Khelo India into our Neighborhood First Policy and we certainly, I think all of us, would like to see a much more socially active, physically active South Asia," he said during the inauguration of the Community Centre.
The minister asserted how a good foreign policy transforms people's lives and that the event showcased it in the best possible manner.
Jaishankar is on a three-day visit to the Maldives and Sri Lanka to further expand bilateral engagement with India's two key maritime neighbours.
He reached Maldives on Wednesday on his fourth visit to the island country after assuming office in 2019. He was warmly welcomed by Foreign Minister of Maldives Abdulla Shahid.
On Wednesday, not only Jaishankar reviewed India's joint projects with the Maldives but also reaffirmed the strong development partnership between the two countries. After holding discussions with Maldives Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid, Jaishankar said they reaffirmed the strong development ties between both sides.
Earlier today, Jaishankar who is on a diplomatic visit to Maldives, paid homage to Sultan Mohamed Thakururufaanu, a revered national hero of the island nation at his Memorial Centre. (ANI)