Abdulla Shahid, the President-elect of the 76th session of the UN General Assembly and foreign minister of the Maldives, arrived in India on Wednesday on a three-day visit. India is the first country that Shahid is visiting in his official capacity as the President-elect of the UN General Assembly after he was elected to the post on June 7, according to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).
India supported foreign minister Shahid”s candidature to the prestigious post. Shahid will pay a courtesy call on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and hold talks with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on key international, multilateral, regional and bilateral issues of mutual interest, the MEA said. An agreement for high-impact community development projects to be implemented with Indian grant assistance in the Maldives will also be signed during the visit.
The MEA said Jaishankar will also host an official dinner in honour of the President-elect of the UN General Assembly (PGA-elect). “The visit of PGA-elect will provide an opportunity to exchange views with him on several global challenges that the United Nations is currently seized with,” the MEA said. “It will also give us an opportunity to reiterate India”s abiding commitment to multilateralism and to the UN”s leadership in confronting these challenges,” it said in a statement.
Shahid last visited India in April in his capacity as the Maldivian foreign minister. The MEA said that the Maldives occupies a central place as part of India”s ”Neighbourhood First” policy and the SAGAR (Security and Growth for All in the Region) vision of the prime minister. It said Jaishankar and Shahid are also expected to review the entire gamut of bilateral cooperation.
“The discussions are expected to give further momentum to the rapidly expanding ties between the two countries. An agreement for high impact community development projects to be implemented with Indian grant assistance in the Maldives will also be signed during the visit,” the MEA said. The Maldives is one of India”s key maritime neighbours in the Indian Ocean Region. Currently, India is developing projects worth USD 2 billion covering a large number of areas like ports, roads, bridges, water and sanitation systems as well as socio-economic development.