Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said that the security and stability of the Maldives are in the interest of India. Maldives is one among India’s closest partners, Modi said while addressing the media after holding bilateral delegation-level talks with visiting Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom over a working lunch. India and Maldives have exchanged six agreements in the fields of taxation, space research, tourism, defence and conservation of mosques following Monday’s talks. PM Modi said India understands its role as a net security provider in the Indian Ocean and is ready to protect its strategic interests in this region. 
Modi said the South Asian Satellite proposed by India would help the Maldives in the fields of education, tourism and health. Yameen had earlier come to India on a bilateral visit in January 2014 and attended Prime Minister Modi’s swearing-in in May 2014. Though India and the Maldives completed 50 years of diplomatic ties last year and the two countries historically enjoy a close relationship, Yameen’s visit assumes significance because of New Delhi’s discomfiture over China’s increasing investments and influence in the Indian Ocean region.

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