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Modi: There is no one big or small, strong or weak among friends

Summary

Welcome to live coverage of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s state visit to Maldives.

Modi’s flight, India 1, is scheduled to land at Velana International Airport at 15:05. He will be welcomed upon arrival at VIA by Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid. The official reception to welcome Modi to Maldives will be held at the Republic Square at 15:30, after which Modi and Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih will retire to the President’s Office for an official meeting. India and Maldives will exchange agreements and remotely inaugurate projects, after which Modi and Solih will deliver a joint press statement.

Modi will deliver his address to the Parliament at 18:45 after a meeting with Speaker of Parliamenr, President Mohamed Nasheed.

19:57
19:56

PM Modi is gifted with a copy of the first Constitution of Maldives, as a token of appreciation for India’s deference towards the Maldives.

19:53

PM Modi concludes his address.

19:53

I thank you once again for the privilege you accorded to me to be amongst you and the honor that you bestowed on me. I thank you for your friendship. Thank you very much.

PM Modi

19:52

India is firmly resolved to cooperate fully in these efforts, and also to deepen its invaluable friendship with Maldives. I reiterate to you this solemn pledge today.

PM Modi

19:52

This is a time of complex transitions, full of challenges. However, challenges also bring opportunities. Today, Maldives and India have the opportunity: to set an ideal for the world of being good neighbors and friends; to usher prosperity through our cooperation so that the economic, social and political aspirations of our people are fulfilled; to work together for ensuring stability, peace and security in our region; to ensure the security of the world’s most important sea lane; to defeat terrorism; to keep the forces that nurture terrorism and extremism away from our shores; to bring about necessary changes for a healthy and clean environment. History and our people would expect us to make full use of these opportunities and not to let go of them.

PM Modi

19:50

Therefore, our development partnerships are to empower people, and not to weaken them. Nor to enhance their dependence on us. Nor indeed to impose the impossible burden of debt on the shoulders of generations yet to come.

PM Modi

19:49

The greatest man of our age, Mahatma Gandhi had said “There is no limit to extending our services to our neighbors”. India has always shared her achievements with the world and especially with her neighbors.

PM Modi

19:48

It is possible only when our mutual trust and confidence are strong not only in good times, but also during difficulties. Hon’ble Speaker, “Vasudhaiv Kutumbakam” is both our philosophy and policy. It means that the whole world is but one family.

PM Modi

19:47

And this trust emanates from the faith that we would be sensitive to each other’s concerns and interests. So that both of us can enjoy more prosperity and more security.

PM Modi

19:47

The foundation of a peaceful and prosperous neighbourhood rests on trust, goodwill and cooperation.

PM Modi

19:47

We cannot have a more suitable partner than the Maldives in realizing this vision and for cooperating to benefit from the Blue Economy. Because we are maritime neighbors. Because we are friends. And there is no one big or small, strong or weak among friends.

PM Modi

19:46

A capable, strong and prosperous India will be a robust pillar of peace, development and security not only in South Asia and Indo-Pacific, but in the entire world.

PM Modi

19:46

We will also endeavor to develop the capacity of other countries in the region, to reach out to them in the times of disasters with humanitarian assistance, and work for shared security, prosperity and a bright future for all.

PM Modi

19:45

I would also like to reiterate that India will use its capabilities and strengths not only for her own prosperity and security.

PM Modi

19:45

This acronym stands for Security And Growth for All in the Region, which is a blueprint for us for cooperation in the Indo-Pacific. Today, I would like to once again stress on this principle of inclusiveness.

PM Modi

19:44

Only this will ensure continuation of rule-based order and multilateralism. Hon’ble Speaker, 4 years ago, I articulated India’s vision and commitment for the Indian Ocean region in the form S.A.G.A.R, which is a word in Hindi meaning ‘sea’.

PM Modi

19:44

In every sense, it is the key to our shared future. Therefore, I had said in June 2018 in Singapore that everyone will have to work together for ensuring openness, integration and balance in the Indo-Pacific. Only this will ensure trust among nations.

PM Modi

19:43

But it is also a region with many unanswered questions and unresolved disputes. Indo-Pacific region is an inalienable part of our existence. It has been our lifeline, and also the highway for trade and prosperity.

PM Modi

19:43

The third subject is the Indo-Pacific, which is our shared region. It is a region with 50% of the world’s population, and enormous diversity of religions, culture, languages, history and political and economic systems.

PM Modi

19:42

If we regard this planet as our mother, we can only respect and conserve it, and cannot harm it. We should also remember that this home, our earth, is the legacy we hold for our future generations in trust, and it is not a property we own.

PM Modi

19:42

It will not be possible to adequately mitigate adverse effects of climate change without bringing in changes in our values, approach, life-style and societies. The ancient Indian belief regards the Earth as our mother and all of us as her children.

PM Modi

19:42

However, everyone needs to join in so that we can reach the requisite level of collective efforts. But we will be wrong to assume that merely technological solutions can help us fight the challenge of climate change.

PM Modi

19:41

She has not only herself come forward to address many of their specific difficulties but also raised her voice at various global fora, highlighting those difficulties and calling for their redressal.

PM Modi

19:40

And over two hundred thousand LED bulbs have reached homes and shops in Maldives. They will help save precious electricity and environment, and also cut electricity bill. India has paid special attention to the needs and concerns of small islands.

PM Modi

19:40

Renewable energy is a potent alternative for mitigating many adverse effects of climate change. This distinguished gathering is familiar with India’s ambitious target of 175 GW of renewable energy by the year 2022, and the progress achieved in attaining it surpassing all expectations. And recently, India’s cooperation has lit up streets of Male with 2,500 energy-efficient and environment-friendly LED street lights.

PM Modi

19:39

I am happy that it has joined the International Solar Alliance. The initiative to launch this Alliance, taken jointly by India, has provided a platform to several countries of the world for taking practical steps to save our Earth.

PM Modi

19:38

Who can forget your radical and courageous step to hold the world’s first Cabinet Meeting in the depths of ocean for attracting the world’s attention to these dangers? Maldives has taken several other exemplary initiatives also to promote sustainable development.

PM Modi

19:37

But, even more than that, melting glaciers and rising sea-levels have become an existential threat for countries like the Maldives. Marine pollution has wreaked havoc on livelihood dependent on coral islands and the Ocean.

PM Modi

19:37

I mentioned climate change. There is no doubt that it is a reality of our times. Drying rivers and uncertainty of weather adversely affect our agriculture and farmers.

PM Modi

19:36

If we delay action any further, our current and future generations will never forgive us.

PM Modi

19:36

I call upon all global institutions and all leading nations to organised a global conference on terrorism within a stipulated time frame, so that there can be meaningful and result-oriented discussions for plugging the loopholes that terrorists and their supporters exploit.

PM Modi

19:36

We have lost enough time debating these artificial differences. Water has risen over our heads now. ​All forces supporting humanity must come together to effectively fight terrorism. ​Dealing with the dark forces of extremism and radicalisation is the litmus test for radicalization is the litmus test for today’s leadership.​The international community has actively arranged for global Convention and many conferences on the threat of climate change. Why not on the issue of terrorism?

PM Modi

19:34

Who provides them the facilities they need? ​State sponsorship of terrorism is the biggest danger. ​It is a grave misfortune that even now some people resort to the fallacy of distinguishing between the so-called ‘good’ and ‘bad’ terrorists.

PM Modi

19:34

No days goes by when this scourge doesn’t claim an innocent life somewhere. ​Terrorists do not own banks. They don’t have their own mints, nor armament factories. But neither money nor weapons are ever in short supply for them. ​Where do they get them from?

PM Modi

19:33

But I would like to dwell upon three of them that are the most important for both our countries. Hon'ble Speaker, terrorism is a very big challenge of our times. ​This is a challenge not for one nation or region, but for the whole humankind.

PM Modi

19:33

There are many such topics pertaining to the disruptions caused by technological advancement, shifts in the axis of economic and strategic power in a multi-polar world, competition and adversity, and cyber space.

PM Modi

19:32

While taking our mutual cooperation forward, we have also to be mindful of the vast uncertainties and serious challenges in our world today.

PM Modi

19:32

Hence, I am especially happy that we have agreed today to start a new ferry service between our countries. I am also very happy that the visa facilitation agreement concluded last year has made it easier for thousands of Maldivians coming to India for business, health and education.

PM Modi

19:31

Relations between two countries are not confined to their governments. The ties between people are their life-blood of these relations. Therefore, I attach special emphasis to all those efforts which promote people-to-people exchanges.

PM Modi

19:31

India will continue to be a reliable, strong and leading partner for democracy and prosperity in Maldives. And this cooperation will strengthen your hands as representatives of the Maldivian people.

PM Modi

19:30

Dozens of our Social Impact and other cooperation projects touch the lives of the common people in this country and contribute to your efforts for the betterment of their lives.

PM Modi

19:30

Water and sanitation in islands, expansion of infrastructure and developing health and educational facilities: India's cooperation will always be for the development of Maldives and according to the requirements and priority of Maldives.

PM Modi

19:30

The unalterable focus of India's developmental cooperation with your great country is the social and economic development of the people of Maldives.

PM Modi

19:29

There has been encouraging progress in implementing the economic package of 1.4 billion US dollars, which was agreed during the visit of President Solih to India.

PM Modi

19:29

India has stood shoulder-to-shoulder with Maldives to ensure its freedom and support here democracy, prosperity and peace. Be it the incident of 1988 or the more recent water shortage or fighting natural calamities such as the Tsunami of 2004. We are proud to have stood with you through thick and thin. And now, the strong mandate in both our countries for development, prosperity and stability has opened new avenues for our cooperation.

PM Modi

19:28

This gives a glimpse of their respect for and harmony with nature. Regretfully, the same marine wealth today faces the threat of pollution. Conservation of this mosque will also send a message to the entire world for conservation of our environment.

PM Modi

19:27

And it is also for this reason that I was very happy to announce India's cooperation for conservation of the historical Friday Mosque. A coral mosque like this exists no where else outside Maldives.

PM Modi

19:27

And therefore, cooperation with you in preserving the cultural heritage of Maldives, preserving its manuscripts and developing dictionary of Divehi hold great significance for us.

PM Modi

19:26

Such a list can be very long and if I continue, we will have a full dictionary. Suffice to say that at every step we realise that we have blossomed in the same garden.

PM Modi

19:26

And ‘Duniya’ is also a famous Maldivian name. Not merely this world, but even for other worldly nouns like heaven or hell, Divehi words 'suvaruge' and naraka are smilar to ‘swarag’ and ‘narak’ of Hindi.

PM Modi

19:26

Let’s look at the names of weekdays. ‘Sunday’ in Divehi is Aadittha, which is related to Aaditya or Sun. Monday is called Homa which bears similarity with ‘Soma’ or Moon. ‘Dhuniye’ in Divehi is the same as ‘Duniya’ in India, which stands for the world.

PM Modi

19:25

Every child in India is familiar with coveted treasures of cowries. Music, musical instruments, customs and traditions and are examples of our shared heritage. ​Take for example Dhivehi language. ​‘Week’ is called ‘hafta’ in India, and also in Dhivehi.

PM Modi

19:24

Our relationship has been blessed with the depth and expanse of oceans. More than 2,500 year ago, trade flourished between Maldives and Lothal in my home state Gujarat, which is among the oldest ports of the world. Thereafter, the Maldivians traded with cities like Surat.

PM Modi

19:23

Relations between India and Maldives are older than history. From time immemorial, blue waters have washed our shores. These waves have been the messengers of friendship between our peoples. They have also nourished our cultures and civilizations.

PM Modi

19:22

I am at a loss for words to convey my gratitude.

PM Modi

19:22

And now, the affectionate invitation from Maldives has brought me here, making it the first overseas destination in my current term. And a short while ago I was also fortunate and privileged that President Solih conferred on me Maldives’ highest civilian honour for foreigners.

PM Modi

19:21

And therefore, it is no coincidence that I am here with you today. In December last year, India was the first country President Solih visited.

PM Modi

19:21

It is also the cornerstone of my government's foreign policy and approach in the larger world, especially in our neighbourhood. ‘Neighbourhood First’ is our priority. And in the neighbourbood, Maldives is priority.

PM Modi

19:20

The fundamental Mantra of my government sabka saath, sabka vikas, sabka vishwas (together with all, for the development all and with the trust of all) is not merely for India.

PM Modi

19:20

Over two-thirds of voters, that is more than 600 million people turned up to vote. They gave an overwhelming mandate for development and stability.

PM Modi

19:19

In India too, we have completed last month the largest democratic exercise in the history of mankind. For 1.3 billion Indians, it was no ordinary election, but a celebration, a mega festival of democracy.

PM Modi

19:19

Today, in this auspicious gathering, I would like to stress that India and all Indians have always been, are and will always be with you for the cause of strengthening democracy in this beautiful paradise.

PM Modi

19:18

And who would be the most happy and the most proud of this achievement of the Maldives? The answer is not difficult to guess. It is of course your closest neighbour, your longest-standing friend and the largest democracy in the world, India.

PM Modi

19:18

But the Maldives showed, you all showed, that it is the people who ultimately win. It is no ordinary success. This achievement of yours is a great source of strength for democracy all over the world.

PM Modi

19:17

They do this in the same manner in which the Maldivian people collectively presented a glowing example of democracy to the whole world a few months ago. That journey of yours was full of challenges.

PM Modi

19:17

It is the place where Members belonging to various ideologies and parties converge to convert their collective will into lasting achievements for the sake of democracy, development and peace in the country.

PM Modi

19:16

It is that energy centre where the pulse of the nation and its heart beat resonate in the thoughts and voice of each and every Member of this House. It is the place where the common person’s dreams and aspirations come true through you all.

PM Modi

19:16

Hon’ble Speaker, This House, this Majlis is not just a building constructed of bricks and mortar. It is no ordinary gathering of assorted people.

PM Modi

19:16

And today I salute all of you, the flag bearers of democracy in Maldives.

PM Modi

19:15

That ceremony was an overwhelming experience. I felt first-hand the energy of true democracy in the Maldives.That day, I witnessed the dedication and commitment of the common citizen of the Maldives for democracy and also their love and regard for leaders like you, Mr. Speaker.

PM Modi

19:14

That festival of democracy celebrated a famous and historical victory democracy in an open stadium amidst thousands, whose faith, courage and resolve were the energy underlying that victory.

PM Modi

19:14

This is my second visit to the Maldives. And in a sense, it is also for the second time that I witness historical proceedings of the Majlis. I was very happy and greatly privileged to be present at the Inauguration Ceremony of President Solih last November.

PM Modi

19:13

This gesture of yours has touched the heart of every Indian and has enhanced their pride and honour. And for this, Hon’ble Speaker, I sincerely thank you and all the Hon’ble Members of this august House on my behalf and also on behalf of the whole of India.

PM Modi

19:12

It is a matter of great happiness and honour for me to be with all of you today in the Maldives and in this august Majlis. I am privileged that the Majlis resolved unanimously to invite me in its very first meeting after the election of Hon’ble Mr. Nasheed as the Speaker.

PM Modi

19:12

And Male', this beautiful capital, is not merely a gateway for tourists to the blue oceans. It is the key for the entire world to a stable, peaceful and prosperous Indian Ocean region.

PM Modi

19:11

Its boundless beauty and natural treasure have attracted the whole world. In the face of nature’s forces, this country is a glowing example of the indomitable courage of man. Maldives is witness to the constant flow of trade and commerce, people and culture.

PM Modi

19:11

I convey to you and all the people of the Maldives sincere greetings on this occasion also. Hon’ble Speaker, The Maldives is a garland of over 1000 islands. It is a rare gem of not only the Indian Ocean region but the world.

PM Modi

19:10

I convey to you the greetings and best wishes on behalf of 1.3 billion Indians, and on my own behalf. The joy and enthusiasm of the holy festival of Eid-ul-Fitr still pervade the atmosphere.

PM Modi

19:10

Honorable Speaker of the People’s Majlis, former President of the Maldives and my dear friend Your Excellency, Mr. Mohamed Nasheed, Honorable Members of the People‘s Majlis, Excellencies, Distinguished Guests, Namaskaar.

PM Modi

19:09

PM Modi begins his address.

19:09

Now, I would like to invite His Excellency Mr. Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of the Republic of India to address the People’s Majlis.

Speaker Nasheed

19:08

Mr. Prime Minister, the Parliament of India and the People’s Majlis had always enjoyed friendly and fraternal relations. I am confident that the India-Maldives relations would further continue to grow and strengthen in the coming years under your able leadership.

Speaker Nasheed

19:05

India has never infringed on our rights for self-determination, but has always got us out of troubled waters. We always thank the Indian people and governments for this.

Speaker Nasheed

19:04

Mr. Prime Minister. We live in turbulent times. When Vascoda Gama rounded the cape of the Good Hope. Like all of South Asia we then fell to colonial rule. Mr. Prime Minister not Indian Rule and never was that the case.

Speaker Nasheed

19:04

It is in this spirit and recognition that the President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has made ‘India First’ policy. Mr. Prime Minister, I reaffirm our commitment to this policy.

Speaker Nasheed

19:03

Mr. Prime Minister, they came from Rajasthan, Punjab, Gujrat and Maharashtra. We should also note the trade/commercial and travelling ties between the coastal states of India - Calicut, Kolkata, Cochin, Goa and Mumbai - and the Maldives.

Speaker Nasheed

19:03

Most Historians and Anthropologists places a substantial wave of human migration to the Maldives as far back as 2500 years ago. And that migration Mr. Prime Minister, according to the Mahavamsa, and our mythology they came from West India.

Speaker Nasheed

19:03

Mr. Prime Minister, India is one of the Maldives oldest and most valued regional partners. Our relationship is as old as history. We watch the same films, read the same books, eat the same food and laugh and cry over the same things.

Speaker Nasheed

19:02

That truly demonstrates the faith and confidence the people of India have on you. Mr. Prime Minister, India is one of the Maldives oldest and most valued regional partners. Our relationship is as old as history.

Speaker Nasheed

19:02

Mr. Prime Minister, let me also congratulate you and the BJP. You have yet again received an overwhelming democratic mandate to govern over a billion people.

Speaker Nasheed

19:00

Speaker Nasheed congratulates Modi and his party, BJP, on the success at the Indian national elections in May.

18:59

Speaker of Parliament, President Mohamed Nasheed begins the special sitting of the Parliament.

18:58

Most of the parliamentarians are inside the Parliament chamber, including Mahibadhoo MP Ahmed Toriq who has announced he plans to walk out in protest during PM Modi's address.

18:44

PM Modi signs the visitor’s log at the Parliament.

18:44

PM Modi is received upon arrival at the Maldivian Parliament by Speaker of Parliament, President Mohamed Nasheed.

18:43

PM Modi arrives at the Maldivian Parliament.

18:20

"Long live India-Maldives friendship!," says Modi in Dhivehi, concluding his statement.

18:19

PM Modi says he discussed with President Solih on new avenues to reinforce existing ties between Maldives and India.

18:16

PM Modi says Maldives and India share an “unsinkable friendship” stretching thousands of years. He says that India has always lent its assistance to Maldives in every natural or other crisis it has faced.

18:13

Modi says he accepts the Order of the Rule of Izzudeen with great pride and humility, and that it is a great honor not just to him, but to his entire nation.

18:11

PM Modi delivers his press statement in Hindi language.

18:10
18:09

President Solih reiterates the commitment of the Maldivian government to strengthening  its ties with India.

18:08

President Solih says Maldives considers strengthening ties with India and its other neighbors one of its top priorities.

18:07

President Solih says projects under the line of credit awarded to Maldives by the Indian government will begin soon.

18:05

President Solih says that Maldives and India have signed key documents toward human resource development, specifically the MoU on capacity building for Maldivian civil servants and the MoU on Customs capacity building signed this Saturday evening.

18:02

President Solih says that strengthening the ties between Maldives and India are mutually beneficial.

18:02

President Solih says Maldives and India share strong bilateral ties and thanks India for its continued contribution to the development of Maldives.

18:00

President Solih expresses honor at Maldives being the first choice of visit by PM Modi following his re-election for a second term.

17:59

It’s with deep pleasure and honor we warmly welcome you to Maldives.

President Solih

17:55

President Solih delivers his press statement in Dhivehi language.

17:49

PM Modi is presented with the Order of the Rule of Izzudeen – the highest honor bestowed upon an individual by the State of Maldives.

The President’s Office reports President Solih made the decision to present Modi with the honor “in recognition of his services to cement the longstanding, amicable ties between Maldives and India, and for the magnanimous assistance that the Indian government has continued to provide Maldives under Modi’s stewardship”.

17:43
17:39

PM Modi remotely inaugurates the coastal radar surveillance system established in Maldives with the assistance of the Indian government.

17:39

PM Modi remotely inaugurates the military training center built in Lh. Maafilaafushi. The USD 7 million project was funded by the Indian government.

17:32

PM Modi and President Solih conclude official discussions, and the two governments begin exchanging six key documents.

THE SIX DOCUMENTS:

  • Cooperation in the Field of Health
  • Capacity Building for Maldivian Civil Servants
  • MoU on Hydrography and Ocean Economy
  • MoU on Sharing White Shipping Information Between Maldives and India
  • Cooperation on Customs Capacity Building
  • Agreement on Passenger and Cargo Services Ferry
17:31
17:02
16:54
16:53
16:52
16:52
Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih looks on as Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi signs the visitor's log at the President's Office on June 8, 2019. (Photo/Sun/Ahmed Awshan Ilyas)
16:50
16:48
16:47
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi inspects the honor guard at the official reception in Republic Square to welcome him to Maldives on June 8, 2019. (Photo/Sun/Fayaz Moosa)
16:21

PM Modi and President Solih retire into the President's Office for their official meeting.

16:21
16:19

Modi signs the visitor’s log at President’s Office.

16:18

Modi is escorted to President’s Office by President Solih.

16:09

“Reached the Republic of Maldives. This visit, the first visit of my second term, indicates the importance India attaches to strong ties with the Republic of Maldives and the desire to boost cooperation in various spheres,” writes Modi in a short statement he issued in both Dhivehi and English via his official Twitter account.

16:08

MNDF’s band plays the national anthems of Maldives and India.

16:07

MNDF fires a 21-gun salute in Modi’s honor.

15:56

Modi arrives in Male’ City on the presidential speedboat, Majesty. He is received by President Solih.

15:50

HISTORICAL OVERVIEW

The first Indian leader to visit Maldives was Indira Priyadarshini Gandhi in 1975. She was welcomed upon arrival by former Maldivian Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Ahmed Zaki. Foreign policies which support strengthening the ties between Maldives and India had been a top priority under Zaki’s stewardship.

15:57

President Solih, Cabinet ministers and other State officials arrive at the Republic Square for the official reception to welcome PM Modi to Maldives.

15:41
15:25
15:20

Modi exchanges greetings with Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid, Finance Minister Ibrahim Ameer and Indian Ambassador Sunjay Sudhir before retiring to the VIP Lounge.

15:12

Modi receives an honor guard as he disembarks the plane.

15:08

Modi’s flight lands at Velana International Airport. He will be received by Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid.