[email protected]: Maldives minister thanks India for Covid aid, wants aviation, IT help

Referring to huge quantities of medicines and other essential supplies, the minister thanked the people of India and Prime Minister Narendra Modi for “helping the Maldives during the crisis”.

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By: Urvashi Khona | INDORE
Updated: 10 January, 2023 12:42 pm IST

Expressing gratitude for the timely help during the Covid crisis, a Maldivian minister on Monday sought India’s help to develop aviation, construction and information technology (IT) sectors in Maldives.

In an interview with The New Indian at the Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas convention in Indore, Maldives deputy minister for transport and civil aviation, Saudulla Ahmed said that the people of India are like family to the people of Maldives.

He said India is an emerging world leader and has the potential to help several other countries like the Maldives.

“Maldives and India enjoy decades-old relationship, which started with New Delhi recognising our Maldives as an independent nation in 1965. India was among the first countries to recognise us,” deputy minister Ahmed said.

Referring to huge quantities of medicines and other essential supplies, the minister thanked the people of India and Prime Minister Narendra Modi for “helping the Maldives during the crisis”.

Ahmed also thanked India for helping the Maldives with military aid in 1988 when a group of Maldivians helped by armed mercenaries of Sri Lanka’s People’s Liberation Organisation of Tamil Eelam tried to overthrow the government in the island republic.

Seeking enhanced cooperation between New Delhi and Male, minister Ahmed said, “We are dependent on other countries for imports, investments and revenue from areas like tourism. Tourist destinations in the Maldives are very popular among Indians. So aviation sector, IT and construction are some of the important sectors where India can help the Maldives.”

India is already helping the island nation to develop a range of sectors like medicines, education, and industries. “We feel proud of our association with Indians.”

He hailed PM Modi as a “good leader” among South Asian countries, and sought greater investment by Indian companies in Maldives.

Answering a question on India’s proposal for settlement of trade with South Asian countries in rupee, minister Ahmed said that the proposal would help the Maldives immensely.

“It would help companies conducting business with Indian firms as well Indians living in the Maldives,” he concluded.

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