S Jaishankar

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Sunday called on Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and reaffirmed India’s fullest commitment as a comprehensive development partner of the island nation during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

Jaishankar, who arrived here on Saturday on the first leg of his two-nation tour that will also take him to Mauritius, has gifted 100,000 additional doses of COVID-19 vaccine to the Maldives.

After holding talks with President Solih, Jaishankar tweeted, “Thank President @ibusolih for receiving me. Conveyed PM’s greetings. Reiterated our fullest commitment as comprehensive development partners – during COVID and beyond.”

Addressing a joint press conference on Saturday along with his Maldivian counterpart Abdulla Shahid, Jaishankar said, “The ‘India First’ foreign policy of President Solih is reciprocated in full measure by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy in which Maldives enjoys a central position.”

He added that the first and largest recipient of India’s COVID support, be it medicines, food, medical response teams or financial package, was the Maldives.

India last month had provided 1,00,000 doses of Covisheild vaccine, manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII), to the Maldives as part of India’s grant assistance.

Earlier on Sunday, Jaishnakar held discussions with Maldivian Defence Minister Mariya Didi and the two sides signed a USD 50 million defence Line of Credit agreement to facilitate capability building in the maritime domain.

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