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India PM Modi to visit Maldives in 1st trip after elections

By ASHOK SHARMAMay 29, 2019

NEW DELHI (AP) — India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit the Maldives next week in his first trip abroad following his party’s victory in national elections, an Indian official said Wednesday.

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity because the trip has not yet been formally announced, said that Modi will visit the Maldives on June 8.

Maldives Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid tweeted that the Maldives’ Parliament adopted a resolution inviting Modi to address the body during the visit.

Modi’s decision to visit the Maldives suggests he is trying to reset bilateral ties that suffered while President Yameen Abdullah Gayoom led the island nation.

Yameen had signed infrastructure project deals with China that troubled Indian officials.

Yameen lost the presidency last year to Ibrahim Mohammed Solih in an election.

The Maldives was the only neighboring country that Modi did not visit during Yameen’s rule. In November, he attended Solih’s swearing in ceremony.

Solih faces a challenging task of balancing ties with India and China.

Solih visited India in December and during his trip New Delhi announced $1.4 billion in financial aid for the Maldives government and lines of credit for the country’s development programs.

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