New Delhi: External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar will be on a four-day official visit to the Maldives and Sri Lanka from March 26-30 following the invitations of his counterparts from the two island countries.
The EAM’s will arrive in the Maldives today for a two-day visit from March 26-27, which will be followed by a three-day visit to Sri Lanka from March 28 that will include his participation in the BIMSTEC Ministerial Meeting on 29 March 2022 in Colombo.
Jaishankar will be visiting the Addu city in the Maldives, during which he will call on President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and hold discussions with his Maldivian counterpart Abdulla Shahid, a Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) press release said.
“EAM’s visit will see the signing of several agreements related to the bilateral development cooperation, inauguration/handing-over and launch of a number of key India-supported projects that will contribute to the socio-economic development of the Maldives and enhance its security,” the MEA release said.
Jaishankar’s visit to Sri Lanka from March 28 follows the visits to India by Minister of Finance of Sri Lanka, Basil Rajapaksa in December 2021 and earlier this month and that of Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka, GL Peiris in February 2022.
“The bilateral meetings and interactions which EAM will have in Sri Lanka highlight the priority that the Sri Lanka occupies for India,” the MEA statement said.
“Both Maldives and Sri Lanka are India’s key maritime neighbours in the Indian Ocean Region and occupy special place in Prime Minister’s vision of ‘SAGAR’ and Neighbourhood First. EAM’s visit is testimony to the importance that India attaches to its close and friendly relations with the Maldives and Sri Lanka,” the statement further said.