External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar extended greetings to the government and people of Maldives on the occasion of the country's Independence Day today, as he reaffirmed the Neighbourhood First policy and special partnership between India and the Maldives.
Taking to Twitter, he extended his greetings to Maldivian FM, Abdulla Shahid and said: "Warm greetings to FM @abdulla_shahid and the Government and people of the Maldives on their Independence Day." "We re-affirm our Neighborhood First policy and our special partnership," Jaishankar said.
Notably, India and Maldives share ethnic, linguistic, cultural, religious and commercial links steeped in antiquity and enjoy close, cordial and multi-dimensional relations.
India was among the first to recognise the Maldives after its independence in 1965 and to establish diplomatic relations with the country.
Despite its small size, the Maldives is currently being wooed by a number of developed and developing countries due to the Strategic Importance of the Geographic Location of the Maldives with respect to key International Shipping Lanes (ISLs).
The Indian Ocean is a key highway for global trade and energy flows. The Maldives is geographically positioned like a 'toll gate' between the western Indian Ocean chokepoints of the Gulf of Aden and the Strait of Hormuz on the one hand, and the eastern Indian Ocean chokepoint of the Strait of Malacca on the other.