Maldives President-elect Ibrahim Mohamed Solih on Tuesday described India as the island nation’s “closest ally” and said the cordial relationship will continue, reported The New Indian Express.

Solih, who represents the Maldivian Democratic Party-led Opposition coalition, claimed victory in the presidential elections in Maldives held on Sunday. He is expected to assume the post before incumbent Abdulla Yameen’s term comes to an end on November 17.

On Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi called Solih to congratulate him. In an interview to a local television channel, Solih said Modi invited him to visit India soon, spoke about the slump in bilateral ties, and asked for his cooperation to fix it. “I told him that India is always the closest ally to the Maldives, and guaranteed that it will remain that way,” said Solih.

Modi also promised full cooperation after the president-elect spoke about the importance of India’s assistance in helping develop the island, said Solih.

Earlier this year, India described the political situation in Maldives as a matter of concern. The Ministry of External Affairs welcomed the island nation’s decision to lift the state of emergency and called upon the its government to ensure early resumption of the political process and release political prisoners.

The Centre had also dismissed as “misleading” media reports claiming India had reduced exports of essential goods to Maldives.