With Prime Minister Narendra Modi attending the oath-taking ceremony of Maldivian President, this is seen as Modi’s first visit to the small island nation as Prime Minister.
As Maldives’ President-elect Ibrahim Mohamed Solih takes to office today, the island nation has inherited Chinese debt. Now, Maldives is turning to India for help.
In a series of tweets, PM Modi tweeted “I will convey to the new Maldivian Government of Mr Solih the desire of the Indian Government to work closely for the realization of their developmental priorities, especially in areas of infrastructure, health care, connectivity and human resource development.”
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Modi also said that India strongly desires to see a stable, democratic, prosperous and peaceful Republic of Maldives.
The Maldivian President-elect has promised ‘India First’ policy in the Maldives. He also said Maldives need solid ties with its immediate neighbour.
NDTV in its report says, “his team is reviewing millions of dollars of investment from China, as well as the related debt that the country has run up from Chinese lenders, and how to restructure it.”
“We were led to believe that it is about $1.5 billion, the Chinese debt, but it could be worse.” Solih further said that investigations will be conducted to determine what actually happened and reach accountability.
Maldivian officials have reached out to India, USA and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to help settle the debt. An adviser said that they were looking at about $200-300 million to kick start the budgetary support.