Male [Maldives]: Maldives Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid has welcomed India's "Neighbourhood First Policy" under which both countries have gained immense socio-economic benefits including the assistance provided by New Delhi throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Shahid, who is also a President of the United Nations General Assembly thanked India for standing in solidarity with the Maldives, and for being its friend and partner throughout the years.
"The Maldives welcomes India's "Neighborhood First Policy" under which we have gained immense socio-economic benefits. And we remain committed to our "India First Policy". Our relationship is one that has stood the test of time, and one that will continue to flourish," Maldives Foreign Minister said in a Tweet.
"I thank India for the assistance it has provided throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. We remain grateful that we can always rely on #India during times of need. Both our countries have experienced the hardships and tragedies of the pandemic, but we are emerging stronger together," he said further on Saturday.
"I thank the Government and the people of India, for standing in solidarity with us, and for being our friend and partner throughout the years. May the close bonds between our two countries continue to grow deeper and stronger," Shahid added.
On Saturday, India's External Affair Minister S Jaishankar went to the Maldives on a two-day visit from March 26 to March 27 after he got an invite from his Maldivian counterpart.
Welcoming Jaishankar, Maldives Foreign Minister said that this is the first time official talks have been held out of the Capital City Male.
"You've made history, Minister @DrSJaishankar! This is the first time official talks have been held out of the Capital City Male'. Fortifying & building on the long-standing – ties is one of the top foreign policy priorities of President Solih's administration," Abdulla Shahid tweeted.
Neighbourhood First Policy of India is a core component of India's foreign policy, focusing on peaceful relations and collaborative synergetic co-development with its South Asian neighbours. (ANI)