In his first visit as the prime minister of India, Narendra Modi will travel to Male on November 17 to attend the swearing-in ceremony of new Maldivian president, indicating an attempt to mend bilateral ties, which nosedived during the outgoing Abdulla Yameen government.
Announcing Modi's day-long visit, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said the prime minister has accepted President-elect Ibrahim Mohamed Solih invitation to attend the ceremony 'with pleasure'.
Kumar, however, made it clear that it is not a 'bilateral visit'.
"In keeping with its neighbourhood first policy, India looks forward to closely working with Maldives in further deepening the partnership," Kumar said.
India-Maldives ties came under strain under Yameen who was perceived to be close to China.
Some decisions by Yameen including imposition of restrictions on work visas for Indians and signing of a new Free Trade Agreement with Beijing also did not go down well with New Delhi.
The relations deteriorated further after Yameen imposed emergency on February 5 this year.
India had criticised his decision and asked his government to restore the credibility of the electoral and political process by releasing political prisoners. The emergency lasted for 45 days.
Presidential elections were held in Maldives on September 23 in which joint opposition leader Solih defeated Yameen, capping months of political upheaval in the tourist paradise.
Maldives is an important country for India's maritime security and there have been concerns in India over China's growing influence over the country in last few years.
PM to visit Singapore on Nov 14-15 to attend East Asia Summit
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will pay a two-day visit to Singapore beginning November 14 to attend the East Asia Summit, an influential bloc which delves into political, security and trade related issues in the Asia-Pacific region.
Making the announcement, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said Modi is also expected to participate in a number of other events during the visit.
"PM will make an official visit to Singapore to attend the 13th East Asia Summit and associated meetings on November 14th and 15th," he said.
Kumar said the prime minister is also scheduled to deliver a keynote address at the Singapore Fintech Summit.
The East Asia Summit is a premier forum in the Asia-Pacific region. Since its inception in 2005, it has played a significant role in the strategic, geopolitical and economic evolution of East Asia.
Apart from the 10 ASEAN member-states, East Asia Summit includes India, China, Japan, Republic of Korea, Australia, New Zealand, United States and Russia.
The annual ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) summit is also taking place in Singapore next week. However, there will be no ASEAN-India summit during the annual congregation of the powerful grouping.
The ASEAN-India summit was held in January this year when leaders from all 10 ASEAN nations visited India to attend the Republic Day celebrations.