'India will be the first to assist Maldives in times of crisis' - Indian PM

India always will be in the font-line in assisting Maldives in times of crisis, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has stated.

PM Modi, who was conferred with the Order of the rule of Izzudeen on Saturday by President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih stated during the joint press conference held with President Solih that he received the honor of the order on behalf of India and its citizen.

Stating that Maldives and India share an age-old friendship, the countries' commitment to each other becomes more evident during times of crisis, said PM Modi in his statement.

"Whether it was the tsunami disaster in 2004, or the 2014 water crisis, India has always been committed to assisting the Maldives, and is determined to remain the first to assist Maldives", stated Modi.

The Indian PM further stated that the elections in both Maldives and India reflects that the people of both nations wish for peace and prosperity. It is the responsibility of the government to deliver on the hopes of the people, he added.

PM Modi acknowledged that the relationship between Maldives and India has significantly strengthened since President Solih took Office in November 2018. Several agreements signed during President Solih's maiden visit to India the following December are current ongoing in full swing, added Modi.

Emphasizing the importance given by the Indian government to maintain ties with the Maldives, extensive discussions on ways to further strengthen bilateral relations and maintaining the ties between the two maritime neighbors took place during Saturday's meeting with the President, revealed PM Modi. Noting that the peace and democracy in the Maldives is of utmost importance to the region as a whole, India will always make efforts to maintain ties with the Maldives, he assured.

Modi ended concluded his statement in the Maldivian language Dhivehi stating "Maldives and India will remain friends forever."

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi concluded his official two-day state visit to the Maldives on Sunday morning. Six MoUs on five sectors were exchanged between Maldives and India during the Prime Minister's visit.