New Delhi, Jan 22 (IANS): Indian Ocean island nation Maldives president Ibrahim Mohamed Solih tested positive for the coronavirus after a PCR test on saturday. The president was to go on an election campaign, but now has been advised by doctors to stay at home and have proper medication.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi wished Solih a speedy recovery and assured him that India is always with Maldives in this Covid pandemic situation. During the pandemic, India supplied 3.12 lakh vaccine doses to Maldives.
"Hoping for your speedy recovery and good health. Our best wishes are with you and the people of Maldives in successfully overcoming the challenges of COVID. India will continue to extend full support to your efforts," tweeted PM Modi.
On New year, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar discussed bilateral cooperation with his Maldivian counterpart, Abdulla Shahid. The call was made by the External minister to greet foreign minister of Maldives and both talked on bilateral issues. Abdulla Shahid was recently elected the President of United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), where India holds few key positions.
Maldives' proximity to the west coast of India, it is barely 70 nautical miles away from Minicoy island in Lakshadweep and 300 nautical miles rom India's West coast, and its situation at the hub of commercial sea lanes running through Indian Ocean, and its potential to allow a third nation's naval presence in the area imbues it with significant strategic importance to India.