Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday was conferred with Nishan Izzuddeen, the Maldives' highest honour accorded to foreign dignitaries, during his visit to the Island Nation.
"Today, I have been conferred with Maldives' highest honour, I humbly accept this it. It is not just an honour conferred upon me but it is respect given to the friendship and relations between our two countries," PM Modi said after being conferred with the honour by Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih
The Indian Prime Minister is on a two-day bilateral visit to the Maldives, his first after assuming office for the second term. Upon his arrival to the country, PM Modi received a ceremonial welcome at the Republic Square in Male.
"India gives utmost importance to its relationship with Maldives. We want to have a strong partnership with each other. India is willing to help Maldives in every way possible. May the friendship between India and Maldives last forever," PM Modi said at the end of his delegation-level talks with President Solih.
The key highlight of this visit is Modi's address to the Majlis (Maldivian Parliament) on Saturday evening.
"PM Modi's official visit to the Maldives, especially his address at the Parliament signifies the importance that the Maldives attaches with India. It reflects the good relationship between the two countries," said Hassan Ziyau, the media director of the Majlis.
"I am sure, PM's visit would further strengthen the existing relation between India and the Maldives. The Speaker of the Parliament, former President Mohamed Nasheed and the members of the parliament are ready to welcome PM Modi and his delegation to the People's Majlis," he added.
Last Month, the Maldivian Parliament unanimously passed a resolution for inviting Modi to address the House during his visit.
PM Modi's visit to the island nation is significant as it's the only country in South Asia that he did not visit for bilateral-level talks during his first term as the Prime Minister.
He will also have a halt in Sri Lanka on his way back, underlining his government's continued commitment towards its 'Neighbourhood First' policy.
The Indian Prime Minister was received at the Male airport earlier today by the country's Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid.
Taking to Twitter after receiving PM Modi, Shahid said that this "momentous visit" would elevate the Indian-Maldivian relationship to new heights.
"Great Honour to receive PM Shri @narendramodi at Velana International Airport on his first State Visit overseas after taking oath for a second term. No doubt, this will be a momentous visit that would elevate #Maldives #India relationship to new heights."
Modi had earlier visited the island nation in November last year to attend the swearing-in ceremony of Solih, who assumed office after defeating Abdulla Yameen in the presidential polls.