New Delhi: The External Affairs Ministry of India has announced a $500 million grant of aid to the Maldives for them to help connect the capital Male to three nearby islands. This is at a time when China is also investing in the region under its Belt-and-Road initiative.
Popular with tourists for its turquoise waters and famous beaches, it is attracting investments due to its strategic location.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar told Maldivian Foreign minister Abdulla Shahid that New Delhi will grant Male $100 million and another $400 million as a line of credit.
Jaishankar also said that the project connecting nearby islands to Male would be the largest civilian project in the Maldives.
PM Modi tweeted President of the Republic of Maldives.
India is seeking a renewed push in diplomatic efforts with the new Maldivian government led by President Ibrahim Solih as against the pro-China former President Abdulla Yameen. This new government assumed office in 2018.
“Since November 2018, under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Ibrahim Mohammed Solih, India and Maldives have embarked on a dynamic and ambitious phase of the partnership that is built on our enduring ties based on mutual trust and shared interests,” the External Affairs Ministry said in a statement.