The Maldivian Parliament on Wednesday voted to invite Prime Minister Narendra Modi to address the House. Modi’s tour to Maldives on June 7 and June 8 will be his first foreign visit after being re-elected to office.
“Maldives Parliament has unanimously passed a resolution to invite Narendra Modi to address a sitting of the house during his upcoming visit to the Maldives,” Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid said in a tweet. This was the first session of the Parliament since newly-elected legislators assumed charge.
Former President and newly-elected Speaker Mohamed Nasheed said it will be a “tremendous honour” to welcome Modi. “In the House today, all MPs pointed out that close cooperation between India and the Maldives is in the interests of both countries, and helps bring stability to the Indian Ocean region,” he told The Hindu.
Modi had last visited the island nation six months ago. He had attended the swearing-in ceremony of President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih in Male on November 17. Both leaders had expressed confidence in the “renewal of the close bonds of cooperation and friendship” between the two countries and agreed on the importance of maintaining peace and security in the Indian Ocean. Modi’s upcoming visit is likely to strengthen ties and reaffirm his neighbourhood-first policy.
Manmohan Singh was the last Indian prime minister to address the Majlis in 2011.