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"Economic cooperation with India has been integral part of Maldives economy": Maldivian Foreign Minister

New Delhi: Maldivian Foreign Minister Moosa Zameer, who is in India, said on Thursday that he discussed debt relief measures during his meeting with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and mentioned that economic cooperation with India has been an "integral part of the Maldivian economy".
"Economic cooperation with India has actually been an integral part of Maldivian economy. If you look at the Maldivian macroeconomic indicators when we took over the government, you will see what I'm talking about. So obviously, if there is any debt with any country that we need to discuss based on those figures," he said in an interview with ANI.
"So I did discuss that and we will continue to be engaged. But Maldivian people have benefited from the debt that we have received and also from a lot of grants that we have received from the Indian government. And we really appreciate that," he added.
Earlier today, Jaishankar held delegation-level talks with Maldivian Foreign Minister Mossa Zameer, who had arrived in India a day earlier.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said that the development of ties between India and the Maldives is based on mutual interests and reciprocal sensitivity of the two countries.
In his opening remarks at delegation-level talks, Jaishankar extended a "very very warm welcome" to Zameer on his first visit to the country in his current capacity, which the EAM said provides an opportunity to discuss bilateral ties and chart out future directions."
As close and proximate neighbours, the development of our ties is obviously based on mutual interests and reciprocal sensitivity," Jaishankar said.
"As far as India is concerned, these are articulated in terms of our Neighbourhood First policy and SAGAR vision. I hope that our meeting today will enable us to strengthen the convergence of our perspectives in various domains," Jaishankar said.
He said that India has been a key provider of development assistance to the Maldives and the projects have benefited the lives of the people of the country and contributed directly to the quality of life.
"They range from infrastructure projects and social initiatives to medical evacuation and health facilities," he said.
He noted that India has also extended financial support to Maldives on favourable terms in the past and that India has been a first responder for Maldives on various occasions.

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