Male (Maldives), Nov.11 : Visiting Indian Vice President M. Hamid Ansari met former Maldivian President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom at his private residence here on Tuesday.
Gayoom was the president of Maldives for almost 30 years. Ansari will also meet his successor Mohammed Anni Nasheed at President office and holds talks on a wide range of issues.
Forty-one-year-old Nasheed defeated Gayoom in the first ever democratic presidential polls in the island nations last month.
Nasheed's victory marks a watershed in the history of Maldives where a ban on opposition parties was effective till 2004.
India considers Maldives a very important bilateral partner. Ansari's visit underlines India's desire to build stronger ties with this strategically important country.
The Rajiv Gandhi government had sent troops to beat off Sri Lankan mercenaries who tried to oust Gayoom in a failed coup in 1988.
India then responded swiftly by airlifting a battalion of paratroopers, while the Indian Navy sealed off all exits at sea. By Mrityunjay Singh