President: No decision yet on Indian consulate in Addu City

Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih (L) with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (R). (File Photo/President's Office)

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has said that the government has not made a decision on establishing a Consulate General of India in Addu City, Maldives.

The Indian government cabinet yesterday approved establishing a Consulate General of India in Addu City, Maldives. The decision was made in a Union Cabinet meeting held yesterday which was chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

In a press conference held last night, President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih was responding to a question by a journalist when he said that India has not shared any details of the decision with the Maldivian government as of yet. He did say, however, that discussions would be made to fulfill requests made by one another through diplomatic relations between the two nations. 

"We have not made a decision on the matter yet. It is known that India and the Maldives have a very close relationship. As with other neighboring nations," said the President. 

He further said that the Maldives had its High Commission in New Delhi, the capital of India whereby the Maldives also had a consular service in Trivandrum, where the majority of Maldivians in India reside. The President said that he would give thought to the decision by India for the establishment of the Consular General. 

A statement of the Indian government accompanying the decision for the consular service in Addu read that it was an important step under the Security and Growth for All in the region initiative and the Neighborhood First policy of India, Moreover, the Indian government noted the linguistic similarities of Maldives and India as well as the cultural and religious ties between the two nations in addition to the economic ties.

The statement by the Indian government also read that the opening of a Consulate General in Addu City will help augment India's diplomatic presence in the Maldives and make it commensurate with the existing and aspired level of engagement.

The momentum and energy in the bilateral relationship have reached unprecedented levels under the leadership of Prime Minister Modi and President Solih, read the statement by India.