Foreign Minister: Maldives will continue to uphold ‘India First’ policy

Maldivian Foreign Minister and President of the 76th UNGA, Abdulla Shahid. (Photo/Xinhua)

Maldivian Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid has reaffirmed Maldives’ commitment to upholding its ‘India First’ policy. 

Shahid, who also serves as President of the United Nations General Assembly, made the reaffirmation in a short video message during a ceremony held by the Indian High Commission in Male’ to celebrate India’s 73rd Republic Day on Wednesday morning. 

In his message, Shahid called India’s democratic achievements 'inspirational. 

“For 73 years, the constitution of India has provided a framework of governance and guaranteed rights to over a billion people, comprising the world’s largest democracy. This monumental achievement provides inspiration and hope to countries all over the world, undertaking their own democratic journeys,” he said. 

Shahid spoke of the longstanding ties between Maldives and India, which he said had further strengthened under active bilateral cooperation. 

“The many gestures of goodwill, humanitarian and friendship provided by the government of India is a true testament to the special partnership between the Maldives and India. This bond has grown even stronger under the leadership of President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” he said. 

Shahid expressed appreciation for India’s ‘Neighborhood First’ policy, said that Maldives will continue to uphold its ‘India First’ policy. 

“The government of Maldives appreciates India’s ‘Neighborhood First’ policy and we will continue to uphold an ‘India First’ policy, which has worked to the mutual benefit of both our countries,” he said. 

Shahid took the opportunity to extend Republic Day greetings and appreciation to Indian External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, who Shahid said has been unwavering in his support to enhancing the bilateral ties between Maldives and India. 

He also extended good wishes to Indian High Commissioner Munu Mahawar and the rest of the team at the Indian High Commission in Male’, and the Indian community in Maldives. 

He repeated his greetings in Hindi language. 

“I wish continued peace, progress and prosperity for the friendly people of India,” he said.