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International Relations

Further, it said the leaders “reaffirmed their unequivocal and uncompromising position against terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.”

After the talks, Mr Modi said, the two countries have agreed to start a ferry service between Kochi and the Maldives.

While Mr. Modi’s visit is seen as underscoring his government’s “neighbourhood first policy”, President Solih on Saturday reaffirmed his “India-First Policy”, pledging his government’s “full support towards deepening the multifaceted, mutually beneficial partnership” between India and the Maldives.

Sri Lanka visit

Mr. Modi will arrive in Colombo on Sunday morning for a brief four-hour visit that, officials said, sought to express a strong message of solidarity with Sri Lankans, less than two months after the Easter terror attacks that killed over 250 people, including 11 Indians. He is the first foreign head of state to visit the island after the carnage, amidst heightened security across the country.

During his time in Colombo, Mr. Modi will meet President Maithripala Sirisena at a lunch hosted by the latter, before holding discussions with the Leader of Opposition Mahinda Rajapaksa and Tamil National Alliance (TNA) leader R. Sampanthan.

Sources said given the nature of the short visit, there would be little time for any substantial talks on development cooperation.

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