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Maldives Minister and President-elect of UNGA, Abdulla Shahid, to visit India

WebdeskJul 22, 2021, 08:22 AM IST

Maldives Minister and President-elect of UNGA, Abdulla Shahid, to visit India

                                                                                                                                                                                                       Nirendra Dev

 

New Delhi: During the visit, Shahid will pay a courtesy call on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and hold talks with the External Affairs Minister on key international, multilateral, regional and bilateral issues of mutual interest.

 

President-elect of the 76th General Assembly of the United Nations and Foreign Minister of Maldives, Abdulla Shahid, would visit India on a three-day visit from Thursday, July 22.

 

He is coming to India at the invitation from External Affairs Minister Dr. S Jaishankar.

 

During the visit, Shahid will pay a courtesy call on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and hold talks with the External Affairs Minister on key international, multilateral, regional and bilateral issues of mutual interest.

 

Dr Jaishankar will also be hosting an official dinner in honour of the visiting dignitary.

 

The visiting President-elect of the UN General Assembly will also share his vision for UNGA Presidency through a virtual public address titled "Presidency of Hope: COVID Pandemic and Need for Reformed Multilateralism” on July 23 July at the Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA) premises in New Delhi, an MEA release said.

 

"The visit of PGA-Elect will provide an opportunity to exchange views with him on several global challenges that the United Nations is currently seized with," the release said.

 

It will also allow the Indian government to reiterate India’s abiding commitment to multilateralism and the UN’s leadership in confronting these challenges.

 

India would be the first country that Abdulla Shahid would be visiting in his official capacity as PGA-Elect since his election on June 7.

 

Mr Shahid had last visited India in April 2021 as the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Maldives.

 

"Maldives occupies a central place as part of India’s Neighbourhood First policy and the SAGAR vision of the Prime Minister and the two Ministers are also expected to review the entire gamut of bilateral cooperation between the two sides," the release said.

 

The discussions are expected to give further momentum to the rapidly expanding ties between the two countries.

 

An Agreement for High Impact Community Development Projects to be implemented with Indian grant assistance in the Maldives will also be signed during the visit, the release said.

 

At the end of his three-day visit, Shahid would leave New Delhi on Saturday, July 24.

 

India had played a critical role in the election of Maldives foreign minister Shahid to the top UN job.

 

Maldives had announced FM Shahid’s candidature in December 2018, and India announced its support for Mr Shahid during the visit of Foreign Secretary Harsh V Shringla to the Maldives in November 2020.

 

In mid-January 2021, in a surprising development and less than six months before the elections, Afghan Foreign Minister Zalmai Rassoul entered the fray.

 

Maldives has never held the office of PGA, while Afghanistan has held this post during the 21st session in 1966-67.

 

"Both Maldives and Afghanistan have excellent relations with India, and both candidates are friends of India.

 

However, India had already committed its support to the Maldives when no other candidate was in the fray and voted in favour of Maldives," sources said.

 

The Office of the President of the UN General Assembly is the highest office in the UN System and reflects the collective goodwill of the 193 Member States of the UN.

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