EAM Dr. S. Jaishankar highlighted people-to-people ties between the two countries as India was among the top sources of tourists for the Maldives in 2020 and 2021, helped by the air bubble arrangement.
New Delhi: External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar has said that India's partnership with the Maldives is of great consequence and a real force of stability and prosperity for the Indian Ocean Region.
"India and Maldives share a deep and abiding friendship. Today, our relationship is so full of promises and possibilities for our youth
and for our future generations," Dr Jaishankar said, speaking at the inauguration of the National College for Policing and Law Enforcement in Male.
"It is also a partnership of great consequence and a real force of stability and prosperity for the Indian Ocean Region," he said.
Dr Jaishankar said, "Even as I congratulate the Maldives Police service on their new training centre I would like to really put this
achievement today in the larger context of our relationship. And that context is particularly important because both of us have come through a very difficult period where we were challenged by the covid."
He lauded Maldives president Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and said, "…. Your vaccination program, your decision to establish an air bubble, our working together, I think these have all been examples of how actually challenges bring two neighbours much more closely than they would be otherwise."
Lauding Maldives policy of India First and India's policy of Neighbourhood First, the External Affairs Minister said, in recent times under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Solih, the India-Maldives partnership has achieved momentum and indeed dynamism on an unprecedented scale.
Dr Jaishankar also highlighted people-to-people ties between the two countries as India was among the top sources of tourists for the Maldives in 2020 and 2021, helped by the air bubble arrangement.
The Minister was also at the Joint Inauguration of Vilunu Drug Detoxification and Rehabilitation Centre in Addu, Maldives
Speaking on occasion, he said, "While drug trafficking is a crime and obviously deserves zero tolerance drug addiction is health and
social issue that requires infrastructure, science, but most of all understanding and compassion to treat."
He further said: "The process of de-addiction and rehabilitation requires infrastructure and trained professionals. I am glad to hear that this centre is now functional with 24 trained staff in place and will start in-house rehab processes next week for 20 patients."