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PM Modi conferred with Maldives' highest honour
Vinod Chandrashekhar Dixit6/16/2019 11:15:17 PM

Our Prime Minister Narendra
Modi deserves big Kudos for being conferred with the Maldives' highest honour "Rule of Nishan Izzuddeen" on Saturday during his two-day state visit to to strengthen the bilateral ties, reflecting the importance India attaches to its ''Neighbourhood First'' policy. The prestigious award was presented to PM Modi by President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih during a ceremony in Male.This Most Honourable Order of the Distinguished Rule of Nishan Izzuddeen" is the Maldives' highest honour and it was in recognition of the many services PM Modi has performed to cement the longstanding, amicable ties between our two countries, and for the assistance Indian government continues to provide to the Maldives under Modi's stewardship.
The relations between India and the Maldives deteriorated after the then President Abdulla Yameen imposed emergency on February 5 last year. India shares a very close and cordial relationship with Maldives. The year 2015 marked the 50th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. India has always believed in peace, freedom and mutual co-operation among the nations. Her foreign policy is based on the principles of Panchsheela, non-alignment a disarmament.
Modi has righty said that "India gives utmost importance to its relationship with Maldives. We want to have a strong partnership with each other. India is willing to help Maldives in every way possible." In 1988, when a group of mercenaries attempted to take over the Maldives, the first country that President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom turned to was India. Within hours, India mounted Operation Cactus, which is still regarded as one of the most successful military interventions by New Delhi on foreign soil, and foiled the coup.
India was among the first to recognise Maldives after its independence in 1965 and to establish diplomatic relations with the country. India's relations with Maldives continue to be friendly and cordial. Indian troops landed in Maley in November 1988 and rescued Maldivian hostages who had been seized in a coup. Maldives has been assured by India of her full support and assistance in the economic development. Indians are the second largest expatriate community in the Maldives with a total strength of around 28000. The Indian expatriate community consists of doctors, nurses and technicians, teachers, construction workers, tailors, etc. spread all over the country. Of the country's approximately 400 doctors, over 125 are Indians. India has provided liberal economic aid and cooperated with Maldives for improving its Infrastructure. Economic ties are very strong which includes the Indian Government's provision of development assistance, low interest credit and essential commodities to Maldives. Maldives has pledged its support to India as a permanent member of an expanded UN Security Council. Maldives is aware of its vulnerability to terror groups and has frequently asked India's assistance. In August 2016, India's chief of National Counter terrorism Centre (NCTC) had also visited Maldives on request for intelligence sharing, capacity building and skill development. Significance of Maldives for India and other powers is because of its crucial strategic location in the Indian Ocean along the major sea lanes of communications (SLOCs). Due to the significant strategic location, Maldives has aroused interests of world powers. To consolidate people-to-people relations, Modi's latest emphasis is on cricket diplomacy in the island nation. India is helping in training Maldivian cricket players and bringing it up to the requisite standard. In order to help in promoting cricket in the Maldives and fulfil President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih's mission to develop the sport in the country to consolidate people-to-people relations, Modi also gifted a cricket bat to Solih signed by the Indian cricket team after holding bilateral talks. There is no doubt that the relations between India and Maldives have been traditionally close and friendly and India has contributed to security, economy and democracy of the Island nation.
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