The much anticipated first overseas visit of Abdullah Yameen after taking over as President of Maldives will take place next year as President Pranab Mukherjee will not be present in the national capital from the 20th of this month till the beginning of next year.
India wants to lay out the red carpet for Mr. Yameen by designating his visit as a State visit. For this, Mr. Mukherjee’s presence is mandatory as he will host the state banquet at Rashtrapati Bhavan for the visiting head of state and government.
Both sides will be seeking to normalise a relationship that suffered hiccups in the political turmoil that followed Mohd. Nasheed’s resignation as Maldives President last year.
Mr. Yameen’s visit will be watched by corporates such as GMR, whose single biggest foreign investment proposal in Maldives was unceremoniously cancelled, Tata Housing’s real estate project and Tattva Global’s contract for waste management. Their initial interactions with the Maldives leadership have not been encouraging but India Inc. is hoping that being an economist, Mr. Yameen would examine their case sympathetically.