Maldives thanks India for essential imports amid diplomatic tension

In a gesture of goodwill amidst diplomatic tensions, the Maldives has extended gratitude to India for renewing the import quota to allow the island nation to acquire essential commodities during the fiscal years 2024 and 2025. The appreciation came from the Maldives’ Minister of Foreign Affairs, Moosa Zameer, who thanked India’s External Affairs Minister, S Jaishankar, and the Indian government for their decision.

| Updated: 06 April, 2024 4:19 pm IST
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NEW DELHI: In a gesture of goodwill amidst diplomatic tensions, the Maldives has extended gratitude to India for renewing the import quota to allow the island nation to acquire essential commodities during the fiscal years 2024 and 2025.

The appreciation came from the Maldives’ Minister of Foreign Affairs, Moosa Zameer, who thanked India’s External Affairs Minister, S Jaishankar, and the Indian government for their decision.

Zameer expressed sincere thanks to Jaishankar and the Indian government, emphasizing the significance of the gesture in strengthening the bonds of cooperation and mutual assistance. The announcement, made via a post on the social media platform X, underscores the longstanding friendship between the two nations and the commitment to bolster bilateral trade and commerce.

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India’s response to the appreciation was swift, with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar reiterating India’s commitment to its ‘Neighbourhood First’ and ‘Security and Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR)’ policies. The decision to renew the import quota aligns with India’s strategic approach to fostering close ties with its immediate neighbours and promoting regional stability and prosperity.

The move comes against the backdrop of diplomatic tensions between India and the Maldives, triggered by various incidents, including demands for repatriation of Indian military personnel and controversies surrounding social media posts. However, the renewal of the import quota underscores the resilience of bilateral relations and the shared commitment to overcoming challenges through constructive engagement and cooperation.

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Under a special bilateral mechanism, the approved quantities for essential commodities are the highest since the inception of the arrangement in 1981. Notably, the quotas for items such as eggs, potatoes, onions, sugar, rice, wheat flour, and pulses have been increased by 5%, reflecting India’s continued support for the Maldives’ developmental aspirations.

Of particular significance is the 25% increase in quotas for river sand and stone aggregates, crucial for the Maldives’ construction industry. The move acknowledges the Maldives’ geographical constraints and the necessity for importing construction materials to fuel its development agenda.

India’s commitment to supporting human-centric development in the Maldives, as part of its ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy, remains unwavering. The gesture of renewing the import quota underscores India’s role as a reliable partner and friend, committed to the well-being and prosperity of its neighbours in the Indian Ocean region.

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