Hamid Ansari to attend Maldives President's swearing-in

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New Delhi, Nov 8 (UNI) Vice President Hamid Ansari will visit the Maldives on November 10-11 to represent India at the Swearing-in Ceremony of the newly-elected President of Indian Ocean Island Republic, Mohamed Nasheed, on November 11.

Mr Nasheed was elected President of the Maldives in the first ever multi-party Presidential elections held on October 28.

Soon after his election, President Pratibha Patil and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh congratulated Mr Nasheed after he was elected.

At the Inaugural Ceremony, Dr Mohamed Waheed Hasan will be sworn-in as the Vice President of the republic.

During the visit, Mr Ansari will call on the new President, Vice President and outgoing President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom.

He will also meet members of the Indian community in the Maldives at a reception hosted by the Indian High Commissioner.

India and the Maldives have traditionally enjoyed close and friendly relations given the historical, ethnic and cultural ties.

Over the years, these bonds of friendship have become multi-dimensional encompassing a wide range of areas.

''Our close ties have been symbolised by our establishment of the Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital in 1995 and the recent ongoing construction of Rs 50 crore Faculty of Hospitality and Tourism Studies in Male,'' an External Affairs Ministry spokesman said here.

India has already welcomed the successful conclusion of the first multi-party Presidential elections in the Maldives.

''As Maldives enters a new era in constitutional reform, democracy and development, India looks forward to strengthening and deepening its relationship with the country and assisting it in its developmental efforts,'' the spokesman said.

UNI RB PD KN1710

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