Sushma to visit Maldives, attend joint commission meeting

New Delhi, Oct 8 (IANS) External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will visit the Maldives on October 10-11 and attend the meeting of the joint commission to be held after 15 years.

Making the announcement here, external affairs ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup told media persons that the last meeting of the joint commission was held in 2000 and it was being reactivated after 15 years.

The joint commission between the two countries is headed by Sushma Swaraj and her Maldives counterpart Dunya Maumoon.

During her visit, Sushma Swaraj will also call on Maldives President Abdullah Yameen and hold talks with ministers of defence, economic development and health.

Swarup said India and the Maldives share a very privileged relationship and common objectives and challenges.

He said the joint commission was a very important mechanism to review the multi-faceted relationship.

Swarup said the two countries will discuss defence and security ties apart from cooperation in a range of other areas including energy.

Answering a query related to the prison sentence of former Maldives president Mohamed Nasheed, Swarup said India expected this issue to be handled in accordance with the rules and laws of the Maldives.

“We hope that the outcome will be seen by everybody as fair. The outcome must be seen to be fair,” he said.

“As the world’s largest democracy, we have always supported forces of pluralism in the Maldives. As a close and long standing friend of the Maldives, we hope that a solution is found to this. We are committed to peace, stability and progress of the Maldives,” Swarup said.

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