POST TIME: 18 December, 2018 00:00 00 AM
New Maldives president secures $1.4b from India
AFP, New Delhi

New Maldives president secures $1.4b from India

The new Maldives president, seen as closer to the West and India than his predecessor, secured $1.4 billion from India yesterday in his first official visit to his country’s “closest friend”.

The package of financial assistance in the form of budgetary support, currency swap agreements and credit lines was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi following talks in New Delhi.

“India is our closest neighbour and our people are bound by ties of friendship and cultural affinity,” Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, the new Maldivian leader, told reporters in what was his first official trip abroad since becoming president last month.

“Within those close links, trade and commerce have flourished. India is not only our closest friend, it’s also one of our largest trading partners,” Solih said.

Solih, 54, unexpectedly beat his predecessor Abdulla Yameen to the presidency of the Indian Ocean archipelago and upmarket honeymoon destination in elections in September.