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Look forward to India, Maldives working together closely: S Jaishankar

The ties between India and the Maldives came under severe strain since Muizzu took charge of the top office

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NEW DELHI, June 10: Union Minister S Jaishankar on Monday held separate bilateral meetings with Maldives President Mohamed Muizzu, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe.

Jaishankar also called on Nepal Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’, Mauritius Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth, Bhutan PM Tshering Tobgay and Seychelles Vice President Ahmed Afif.

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The seven leaders from India’s neighbourhood and the Indian Ocean region were in Delhi to attend the swearing-in ceremony of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Union Council of Ministers on Sunday.

“Delighted to call on President Dr Mohamed Muizzu of Maldives today in New Delhi. Look forward to India and Maldives working together closely,” Jaishankar said on ‘X’.

Jaishankar was the external affairs minister in Modi’s previous Cabinet. He took oath as a Union minister on Sunday.

It was Muizzu’s first visit to India after he became the island nation’s president on November 17 last year. The ties between India and the Maldives came under severe strain since Muizzu, known for his pro-China leanings, took charge of the top office.

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Within hours of his oath, he had demanded the withdrawal of Indian military personnel from his country. The Indian military personnel were replaced by civilians earlier this month.

After his meeting with Hasina, Jaishankar said, “Honoured to call on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina of Bangladesh today. The India-Bangladesh Maitri continues to advance.”

On his meeting with Wickremesinghe, Jaishankar said, “Appreciate President Ranil Wickremesinghe of Sri Lanka for receiving me this morning in New Delhi. Recognized the steady progress in India-Sri Lanka relations.”

“Great to meet PM Tshering Tobgay of Bhutan. Spoke about our unique and multifaceted friendship,” Jaishankar said on the meeting with Tobgay.

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He said the meeting with Mauritius Prime Minister Jugnauth, reflected the special bond between the two countries.

On the meeting with the Nepalese prime minister, Jaishankar said: “So glad to call on PM Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ of Nepal. Discussed the growing various facets of India-Nepal cooperation.” (PTI)

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