India on Wednesday assured Maldives that ties would continue to flourish and that it gives “highest priority” to strengthen relations.

The remarks came after High Commissioner Rajeev Shahare presented his letter of credence to President Mohamed Waheed.

D M Mulay, who Mr. Shahare replaced, had completed his term last month. The appointment comes at a time when bilateral ties between India and Maldives have been severely strained, mostly due to the abrupt termination of the contract given to India’s GMR for the modernisation of the Ibrahim Nasir International Airport (INIA).