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India-Maldives Joint Statement

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh meeting Maldives President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom, in New Delhi on January 2, 2014.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh meeting Maldives President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom, in New Delhi on January 2, 2014.
Following is the text of the Joint Statement issued by India and Maldives here yesterday during Maldives President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom's state visit to India:
 
The President of the Republic of Maldives, H.E. Mr. Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom, is on a State Visit to India from 1-4 January 2014 at the invitation of the Hon’ble President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee.
 
This is H.E. Mr. Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom’s first official visit abroad after assuming the office of President of the Republic of Maldives in November 2013. The President of Maldives is accompanied by his wife Madam Fathimath Ibrahim and a high level delegation.
 
The President of Maldives met the President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee, who also hosted a banquet in his honour. President Yameen and Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh held bilateral talks on 2 January 2014. Vice President, Raksha Mantri, Finance Minster, External Affairs Minister, Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha, National Security Advisor and Foreign Secretary called on the President of Maldives. The meetings and exchanges were marked by warmth, cordiality and mutual respect on both sides.
 
Official talks between India and the Maldives were held on 2 January 2014 in a warm and friendly atmosphere reflective of the long-standing special and close relationship that exists between the two countries.
 
The Prime Minister of India was assisted at the official talks by Raksha Mantri Shri A.K. Antony, Finance Minister Shri P. Chidambaram, Home Minister Shri Sushil Kumar Shinde, Commerce & Industry Minister Shri Anand Sharma, External Affairs Minister Shri Salman Khurshid, Minister of State for External Affairs, Shri E. Ahamed, National Security Advisor Shri Shivshankar Menon, Principal Secretary to PM Shri Pulok Chatterji, Foreign Secretary Smt. Sujatha Singh, High Commissioner of India to the Maldives Shri Rajeev Shahare and other senior officials. 
 
The President of Maldives was assisted at the talks by Member of the Parliament, Hon. Qasim Ibrahim, Member of the Parliament Hon Ahmed Siyam Mohamed, the Minister of Foreign Affairs Ms. Dunya Maumoon, the Minister of Economic Development Mr. Mohamed Saeed, the Minister of Tourism Mr. Ahmed Adeeb Abdul Ghafoor, Minister of Health and Gender Dr. Mariyam Shakeela, Minister at the President’s Office Mr. Mohamed Hussain Shareef, Minister of State for Youth and Sports Mr. Mohamed Ghassan Maumoon, Foreign Secretary Dr. Ali Naseer Mohamed, High Commissioner of Maldives in India Mr. Mohamed Naseer, and other senior officials.
 
The following Agreements were signed in the presence of the President of Maldives and the Prime Minister of India:
 
a) Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in the field of Health,
b) Exchange of Letters on extending the Memorandum of Understanding on Manpower requirements of the Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital and
c) Memorandum of Agreement for allotment of plot to the High Commission of Maldives 
 
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Reiterating an abiding faith in and commitment to democracy, development, mutual respect of each other’s sovereignty, and peaceful co-existence, the two leaders remarked that shared values and geographical contiguity between the two countries have provided a strong foundation for ethnic, historical and cultural ties.
 
The two leaders shared the confidence that cooperation at the bilateral, sub-regional and regional levels will enable the two countries to realise their developmental aspirations, and contribute to peace, prosperity and security in the Indian Ocean Region and South Asia.
 
The Prime Minister of India congratulated the President of Maldives and the people of Maldives for the successful and peaceful conclusion of the Presidential elections and the exemplary smooth transition of power. He, inter alia, reiterated the willingness of the Government of India to share its experiences in parliamentary democracy and extend full support to consolidate the gains attained through the democratic process in the Maldives.
 
The two sides agreed to strengthen cooperation between the Parliaments of both countries. Both sides also agreed to promote and facilitate cooperation between their respective institutions.
 
Cooperation in Security, Anti-Terrorism, Drug-Trafficking etc.
 
The two leaders reaffirmed their unequivocal and uncompromising position against terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. In furtherance of the shared recognition that the security interests of both the countries are interlinked, they reiterated their assurance that each side would be sensitive to the concerns of the other on the issue and that their respective territories would not be allowed to be used by any quarter for any activity inimical to the other.
 
The two leaders recalled the importance of the Framework Agreement on Cooperation for Development between India and Maldives, signed in November 2011, and agreed to establish the Joint Consultative Commission, as per Article 9 of the said Agreement, and hold the first meeting of the Commission in 2014. It was agreed to enhance bilateral cooperation on issues of common concern, including maritime piracy, terrorism, organized crime, drugs and human trafficking. It was also agreed to intensify cooperation in the areas of training and capacity building of the Maldives National Defence Force and the Maldives Police Service.
 
The two leaders agreed to strengthen cooperation to enhance maritime safety and security in the Indian Ocean Region through joint patrolling and aerial and maritime surveillance, exchange of information, capacity building and the development of an effective legal framework against piracy.
 
Investment Promotion
 
Both leaders reviewed various efforts to promote bilateral trade and investment ties and the development of infrastructure in a manner that contributes to sustainable development in both countries. Both sides agreed to consider a Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement at the earliest. It was agreed to work towards closer economic cooperation in sectors such as food security, fisheries development, tourism, transportation, information technology, new and renewable energy and communications.
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Both sides agreed to undertake measures to strengthen links in the banking and financial sectors, including by improving credit and insurance facilities and assistance in the establishment of development finance institutions. 
 
Development Cooperation
 
The Government of Maldives made a proposal for the import of diesel, petrol and aviation fuel from India. The Government of India agreed that it would favourably consider the request from the Maldivian side. In this context, both sides called upon the concerned entities of both countries to meet at the earliest to work out arrangements.
 
The President of Maldives thanked the Prime Minister of India for the release of US $ 25 million Standby Credit Facility for imports from India.
 
The Prime Minister of India Dr. Manmohan Singh reiterated financial support to Maldives for several cooperation and developmental projects, including the setting up of the Maldives Police Academy, the renovation of the Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH) established by Government of India in Malé and construction of the Composite Training Centre for the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF).
 
Consular and Visa
 
Both sides agreed to address the concerns of Indians in Maldives and Maldivians in India regarding consular and visa issues. The President of Maldives welcomed India’s offer to allow visa free entry for medical purposes and also removal of the restriction on re-entry within two months. Both sides agreed to an Exchange of Notes to implement the visa and consular arrangements. 
 
Export of Stone Aggregates
 
The Maldives President expressed appreciation for waiver of restrictions on export of stone aggregates to Maldives from India.
 
Connectivity
 
Both leaders emphasised the urgent need to improve connectivity between the two countries through the establishment of enabling infrastructure that would promote the exchange of goods and services, information, ideas, culture and people.
 
It was agreed to enhance connectivity by air and sea between Kochi (India) and Malé (Maldives) and other destinations as available under the Air Services Agreement between Maldives and India. The two leaders also observed that direct flights between Mumbai/Delhi-Malé sectors should be operationalised at the earliest.
 
Both leaders agreed that the two sides would harness the advantages of regional and sub-regional transport and connectivity, renewable energy, education, environment and sustainable development to mutual advantage.
 
Chancery Plots
 
During the visit, , it was agreed to handover land on reciprocal basis in Malé and New Delhi for construction of the new Chancery buildings for the respective High Commissions in each other's country.
 
SAARC
 
Underscoring the importance of SAARC in promoting regional cooperation, the two leaders also agreed to work together to further strengthen SAARC, including by effective cooperation in the identified priority areas, in working closely with the Maldives to streamline SAARC institutions, and as partners in achieving the full implementation of all existing SAARC projects and Agreements. In this regard, the President of Maldives appreciated the continued support of the Government of India to Maldives as Chair of SAARC. 
 
UN
 
Both leaders reiterated the importance of an effective multilateral system, centred on a strong United Nations, as a key factor in tackling global challenges. The two sides expressed their commitment to early reform of the UN Security Council, including expansion in both permanent and non-permanent categories so as to better reflect contemporary geopolitical realities and to the revitalisation of the UN General Assembly. The President of Maldives reiterated his country's support for India's candidature for permanent membership of an expanded and reformed UN Security Council.
India reiterated its support for Maldives’ candidature for non-permanent seat of the UN Security Council for the 2019-2020 term. Maldives also assured India of its support for India's candidature for the non-permanent seat of the UNSC for 2021-2022 term.
 
The two leaders underscored the need for strengthening and reform of multilateral financial institutions and enhancing the voice and participation of developing countries in international economic decision-making.
 
The President of Maldives thanked the Prime Minister of India for the warm and gracious hospitality extended to him and members of his delegation during their stay in India. The Prime Minister of India thanked President Yameen for making India the first of his official visits abroad.
 
President Yameen extended an invitation to Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh to pay a visit to Maldives. The invitation was accepted and it was agreed that the dates of the visit would be finalised through diplomatic channels.
 
New Delhi                                                                 
January 2, 2014
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