India's Modi makes unscheduled stop at bombed Sri Lanka church

Cheryl Sanders
June 9, 2019

"We regard the Maldives as a valued partner with whom we share deep bonds of history and culture".

Modi termed his visit to Colombo "immensely fruitful".

The island's northern waterfront was closed to traffic and decorated with welcome banners and the national flags of both countries.

PM Modi also said that it was essential to boost action on Climate change. Appeals to them to be a part of India's development story. State sponsored terrorism is the biggest threat today. It is important for the world community to come together to fight the challenge of terrorism and radicalization, " he said in a speech to Maldives lawmakers in the country's Parliament.

India was pursuing what it called a "neighbourhood first" foreign policy centred on its allies in South Asia, although there was little sign of a warming in relations with arch-rival Pakistan. From time immemorial, blue waters have washed our shores.

Under Modi's leadership, India earlier this year granted a $800 million line of credit to the Maldives, which remains heavily indebted to Beijing. "Also, there have been discussions over making the defense services stronger in Maldives".

India is committed to help the Maldives in every way possible, he added. "May the friendship between India & Maldives last forever".

India and the Maldives also agreed to launch a ferry service connecting the two countries, and the leaders directed officials to expeditiously work towards starting a regular passenger-cum-cargo ferry service between Kerala's Kochi and the Maldivian capital Male via Kulhudhuffushi atoll.

The Prime Minister further said in Hindi that India has always stood with the Maldives in any natural calamity or any other problem.

PM Narendra Modi conferred with Maldives" highest honour accorded to foreign dignitaries, "The Most Honourable Order of the Distinguished Rule of Nishan Izzuddeen'.

Modi arrived in Colombo from the Maldives where he held wide-ranging talks with Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih on Saturday.

"Started the Sri Lanka visit by paying my respect at one of the sites of the horrific Easter Sunday Attack, St. Anthony's Shrine, Kochchikade".

Some glimpses of the ceremonial welcome extended to PM @narendramodi at the President's Office in #Colombo.

PM Modi will also make a brief stopover in Sri Lanka on way back from Maldives Sunday and meet his counterpart Ranil Wickremesinghe, Leader of Opposition former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and also the members of the Tamil National Alliance.

Other reports by iNewsToday