External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar on Saturday handed over 100,000 additional doses of COVID-19 vaccines to the Maldivian Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid and Health Minister Kerafa Naseem.
"An extraordinarily deep partnership reaffirmed. Comprehensive talks with FM @abdulla_shahid (Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid). Deeply appreciate our close cooperation during Covid. Agreed to look beyond at post-pandemic economic recovery," Jaishankar said in a tweet post his arrival in the Maldives on Saturday.He added, "From the people of India to the people of Maldives. Handed over 100,000 additional doses of COVID vaccine to FM @abdulla_shahid and Health Minister @KerafaNaseem."
Maldivian FM Shahid thanked India for the "generous gift" of 100,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines adding that the two countries would overcome the COVID-19 pandemic together.
"Additional 100,000 doses of hope! Thankyou to the people of India for this generous gift. Delighted to accept, with Health Minister Naseem, on behalf of Government & people of the Maldives! Together, we will overcome #Covid19! Together, we will succeed," Shahid wrote in a tweet.
The EAM, he tweeted, witnessed the exchange of agreements on a wide range of domains "we are working on together" that include fish processing, public broadcasting, sustainable urban development, road infrastructure and housing.
"Emblematic of our strong & multi-faceted development partnership," Jaishankar wrote in another tweet.
The minister further quipped that a 'FitIndia' and 'Neighbourhood First' would lead to a 'Fit Maldives'."#FitIndia + #NeighbourhoodFirst = Fit Maldives. Delighted to join Speaker @MohamedNasheed, FM @abdulla_shahid, and Sports Minister @AhmedMahloof at the Ekuveni Stadium. Our development assistance has made possible a modern running track and play ground," he wrote in a tweet.
"Our two countries are just like those wings. We work in harmony, we work together, with the same interests, aiming to reach the same destination."
According to informed sources, India's rapid and comprehensive assistance to the Maldives since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has further reinforced its credentials of being the first responder. Maldives was the first country to receive COVID-19 vaccines from India when India gifted 100,000 doses in January 2021.
According to a statement by the Ministry of External Affairs on Thursday, during his visit to the Maldives, the EAM will call on President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and "have substantive discussions" with the Ministers for Foreign Affairs, Defence, Finance, Economic Development and Planning and Infrastructure.
It further stated that Jaishankar will also call on Speaker Mohamed Nasheed and meet with other political leaders. Post his Maldives visit, Jaishankar would visit Mauritius on February 22-23.
During his visit to Mauritius, the minister will call on President Prithvirajsing Roopun and Prime Minister Pravind Jagnauth. He will also meet his counterpart the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade and Minister for Land Transport and Light Rail, Alan Ganoo. (ANI)