Top leaders from Nepal, Maldives, Mauritius, Seychelles call on President Murmu

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New Delhi, Jun 10 (PTI) President Droupadi Murmu on Monday met top leaders from Nepal, Maldives, Mauritius, and Seychelles and discussed different development-related matters of mutual interest.

During her meeting with Nepalese Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal 'Prachanda', she said Nepal is a priority partner under India's 'Neighbourhood First' policy and conveyed the country's commitment to "further strengthen our unique ties".

Both the leaders discussed ways to take forward the developmental initiatives across various sectors in Nepal, which are benefitting the people of the two countries, a statement issued by the Rashtrapati Bhavan said.

Welcoming Maldivian President Mohamed Muizzu, Murmu conveyed her greetings to the new government and the people of Maldives. She expressed confidence that the island nation will continue on the path of prosperity and development under Muizzu's leadership.

"Both leaders noted the longstanding and multifaceted ties between two countries and highlighted important pillars of our wide-ranging bilateral cooperation including people-to-people linkages, capacity building cooperation, economic and trade relations and development cooperation," the statement said.

This was Muizzu's first visit to India after he became the island nation's president on November 17 last year. The ties between India and the Maldives came under severe strain since Muizzu, known for his pro-China leanings, took charge of the top office.

Within hours of his oath, he had demanded the withdrawal of Indian military personnel from his country. The Indian military personnel were replaced by civilians earlier this month.

Murmu expressed hope that India-Maldives relations will continue to strengthen in the years to come, it added.

During her interaction with Mauritius President Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, Murmu fondly recalled her successful state visit to Mauritius as the chief guest for the National Day celebrations in March earlier this year, and her interactions with the Mauritian leadership and people.

She reaffirmed that Mauritius is an important maritime partner of India in the Indian Ocean Region, as part of Vision SAGAR and "our commitment to advance the shared vision of peace, security, and growth in the Indian Ocean Region".

"Both leaders expressed satisfaction at the impressive progress registered in various sectors of bilateral cooperation, and agreed to continue working together to further deepen the unique and multifaceted India-Mauritius partnership," the statement said.

Vice President of the Republic of Seychelles Ahmed Afif called on President Murmu.

Afif represented Seychelles at the swearing-in ceremony of the new government held at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Murmu reaffirmed India’s commitment to support Seychelles in its developmental aspirations as well as further enhance the people-to-people connect and security cooperation, guided by Vision SAGAR - Security and Growth for All in the Region.

Afif conveyed the greetings of President Wavel Ramkalawan and the people of Seychelles to Murmu and expressed happiness on visiting India on his first official visit.

Both leaders discussed India’s developmental partnership support and capacity-building assistance in Seychelles, and the longstanding defence cooperation in the Indian Ocean region, the statement said.

"They agreed to continue working together to further strengthen the bilateral ties for mutual benefit," it added. PTI AKV RHL

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