Setback to Yameen as Male off PM Visit
NEW DELHI/COLOMBO: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be visiting Seychelles, Mauritius and Sri Lanka on March 10-14. The Ministry of External Affairs made the announcement for the PM’s first overseas trip this year on Friday, naming only Seychelles, Mauritius and Sri Lanka.
Modi will be in Seychelles on March 11 and hold discussions with President James Alexis Michel to strengthen maritime ties and bilateral development cooperation.
On March 11-12 the PM will be in Mauritius and have extensive meetings with Prime Minister Sir Anerood Jugnauth to further enhance India’s special relations with the country and will also be the chief guest on the Mauritian National Day.
However, in a setback to the government of President Abdulla Yameen in Maldives, Modi has dropped Male from his Indian Ocean sojourn.
While India had never publicly indicated that the PM was visiting Maldives, it had definitely been part of the itinerary, with officials making preparations till Thursday evening. “The Indian PM’s visit has been postponed on mutual agreement to give time for both governments to prepare. New dates will be announced later,” the Maldives government posted on twitter.
Meanwhile, Modi, who will be arriving in Colombo on March 13 for the two-day trip, will be visiting Jaffna, Talaimannar and Anuradhapura, according to a press release issued by the Sri Lankan Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Modi will be the first Indian Prime Minister to visit these three towns. His visit will also be the first “state visit” by an Indian Prime Minister since 1987, when Rajiv Gandhi visited to sign the India-Sri Lanka accord.