Maldives Foreign Minister meets Pranab Mukherjee

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New Delhi, Dec 1 : Maldives Foreign Minister Ahmed Shaheed called on his Indian counterpart Pranab Mukherjee here today.

Shaheed reached New Delhi on Sunday on a three-day visit to India to further bilateral relations.

Maldivian minister's visit to New Delhi comes within weeks of a new democratically elected government assuming charge in Male.

Reports said that both the ministers held talks on a wide range of bilateral and regional issues.

Expansion of economic ties and energy security were likely to dominate the talks.

The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Maldives, famous for its luxury holiday resorts and pristine beaches, is less than one billion dollar, and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has warned it to trim a large government payroll and create more sustainable revenues beside those from tourism.

The newly elected government of Maldives is likely to seek help from the Indian government that has been affected by the global meltdown.

India too looks forward to strengthening and deepening its relationship with Maldives and assisting it in its various developmental efforts.

President Mohamed Nasheed took the charge from Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, who jailed him repeatedly on what rights groups say were trumped-up charges, on November 11 at a brief ceremony that was attended among others by Indian Vice-President Hamid Ansari.

ANI

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