The Parliament, on Wednesday, issued its unanimous approval to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to deliver a parliamentary address during his visit to Maldives which will be conducted from June 7-8.
As per the Constitution and parliamentary regulations, foreign entities can only speak in parliament with the majority vote of members. The motion was proposed by President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.
During the debate held regarding the matter, several parliamentarians expressed support for an address from Modi, who was recently re-elected for a second term.
However, certain opposing parliamentarians asserted that relations with one country must not be strained while efforts to consolidate ties with another are underway.
In response, MDP members highlighted that the Indian PM's upcoming visit and address proved the increasing strength of Maldivian foreign policy.
Hithadhoo North MP Mohamed Aslam described Modi's upcoming state trip and parliamentary address as progress and a source of encouragement.
Maduvvari MP and former Defence Minister Adam Shareef expressed the necessity of close bilateral relations between Maldives and India. He noted the importance of Modi travelling to Maldives and speaking at parliament.
According to Shareef, the parliament's actions should protect the nation from foreign influence and guarantee Maldivian independence and sovereignty, which he claimed were being undermined by a certain group.
Vilimale MP Saud Hussain highlighted Maldives' role in guaranteeing peace in the Indian Ocean. He stated that only India could provide protection to Maldives and that a stronger relationship with India would increase security for the country.
Modi first visited Maldives to attend the inauguration ceremony of President Solih in November 2018.
The current government's first official state visit to India took place shortly after President Solih assumed office, in an attempt to strengthen the bilateral relations between Maldives and India which deteriorated in former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom's administration.