Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen,
It is a pleasure to be here on my first State visit to India. As many of you may know this is my first visit abroad since assuming office on 17 November 2018. I would like to thank Prime Minister Modi for having invited me and my delegation to this beautiful country, which remains close to the hearts of so many Maldivians. I also thank the people and the Government of India for the warm hospitality extended to me and my delegation during this visit. This demonstrates the close and fraternal ties that exist between the Maldives and India, our governments and people. During my visit I had the honor of meeting senior leaders in the Indian government including the President of India Mr Ram Naath Kovind, Vice President of India Shri Venkaiah Naidu, and External Affairs Minister Smt. Sushma Swaraj.
I also had extensive discussions with Prime Minister Modi where we discussed ways of further enhancing the traditionally strong and friendly relations between India and the Maldives and also reaffirmed our mutual commitment to democracy, development and peaceful co-existence. During my visit we also signed a series of agreements that will pave the way for greater cooperation between our two countries in the areas of health, commerce, education, defence and cultural exchanges between our two countries. An important aspect of our discussions was our mutual aspirations and needs for regional stability and also agreed to strengthen maritime security in the Indian Ocean Region through coordinated patrolling and aerial surveillance, exchange of information including cooperation in the areas of training and capacity building.
During my discussions with Prime Minister Modi I reiterated the Maldives’ support for India's candidature for permanent membership of an expanded and reformed UN Security Council and shall also support India’s candidature for a non-permanent seat for the year 2020-21. On behalf of the Maldivian people I have also invited both President Kovind and Prime Minister Modi to officially visit the Maldives next year and for which they’ve both very graciously accepted.
Before concluding may I say thank you once again for the opportunity to be in this beautiful country of yours. May the almighty bless our two countries with growth, prosperity and harmony.