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Singh said New Delhi would aid this “very close and friendly neighbor” even as the island economy is struggling with high levels of debt and a lack of foreign currency reserves.
Following Thursday’s talks, India is extending a standby credit facility of $25 million to Maldives for imports from India. Both sides has also inked three bilateral agreements.
“Increase in Indian investments in Maldives would also contribute to expansion of our economic relations. In this context, I requested President Yameen to amicably settle the issue of Male International Airport and address the problems that some of our investors are facing,” urged Singh.
The new Maldives President Yameen is under pressure to win back the confidence of overseas companies after the previous government cancelled Maldives’ biggest foreign investment project with India’s GMR Infrastructure.
The former Maldivian government had in December 2012 unilaterally terminated a $500 million contract given to India’s GMR Group to develop and operate Male Airport, a project awarded to the Indian group by the earlier Mohamed Nasheed administration.
India will also “certainly do all we can to encourage the flow of Indian tourists to Maldives”, said Singh.
Two years of political turmoil has adversely hit the vital tourism sector of Maldives.
The Indian Prime Minister said the two sides “need to remain vigilant against terrorism”.
“We have agreed on a number of initiatives to strengthen bilateral defence and security cooperation, including through training, supply of equipment, capacity building, joint patrolling and aerial and maritime surveillance,” said Singh.