Image description

Dr. S Jaishankar, India's External Affairs Minister, will go to the Maldives and Sri Lanka for bilateral meetings and the signing of many agreements.

Dr. Jaishankar's visit to Colombo comes at a time when the island nation is in the midst of a severe economic crisis, with power outages and shortages of basic supplies sparking protests. As a result of the circumstances, its citizens are fleeing to India.

According to a statement from the ministry, Dr. Jaishankar will visit Addu in the Maldives this weekend at the invitation of Abdulla Shahid, the Maldives' Minister of Foreign Affairs.

"EAM will visit Addu, Maldives, on the 26th and 27th of March, when it will meet with President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdulla Shahid. During EAM's visit, several agreements related to bilateral development cooperation will be signed, as well as the inauguration/handing-over and launch of a number of key India-supported projects that will contribute to the Maldives' socio-economic development and security "According to the statement.

It further stated that the External Affairs Minister will visit Sri Lanka next week at the invitation of his counterpart G L Peiris.

"EAM's travel to Sri Lanka (March 28-30) follows trips to India by H.E. Mr. Basil Rajapaksa, Minister of Finance of Sri Lanka, in December 2021 and earlier this month, and Prof. G.L. Peiris, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka, in February 2022. The bilateral talks and contacts that EAM will have in Sri Lanka emphasise the importance that India places on Sri Lanka "According to the ministry.

On Tuesday, Dr. Jaishankar will attend the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) Ministerial Meeting in Colombo.

The Maldives and Sri Lanka, according to the ministry, are India's significant maritime neighbours in the Indian Ocean Region and hold a "special place" in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "SAGAR" and "Neighbourhood First" programme. "The importance that India places on its close and friendly relations with the Maldives and Sri Lanka is reflected in EAM's visit," it stated.