The second round of the Maldives-India Consular Talks was held in Malé today.

The consular talks began in 2017, as a forum to discuss the various consular related issues faced by Maldivians and Indians travelling to, and residing in the respective countries. The first round of talks was held in New Delhi.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdulla Shahid welcomed the delegations prior to the start of the formal discussions. In his remarks, the Minister noted that people-to-people contact is the most important and defining strength of the over five-decade relationship between India and the Maldives, and therefore, both countries have to recommit to improving and addressing the issues faced by citizens travelling to, and residing in both countries. Ambassador of India to the Maldives Akhilesh Mishra also welcomed the delegations, and thanked the Maldives for hosting the second round of Consular Talks. In his remarks, he reiterated the commitment of the Government of India to enhancing its relationship with Maldives, and its people.

During this round of talks, the discussions focused on the proposed Agreement on Visa Facilitation, and transfer of sentenced prisoners, challenges faced by Maldivians travelling to and residing in, and arrested in India, and recruitment of expatriate workers from India. Discussions on technical and procedural issues related to transportation of mortal remains from Maldives to India, as well as with regard to burial of Maldivians in India was discussed.

The Maldives delegation to the talks was led by Foreign Secretary Abdul Ghafoor Mohamed, and included participants from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Attorney General’s Office and Maldives Immigration. The Indian delegation to the talks was led by joint Secretary at the Ministry of External Affairs of India Amit Narang, and included representatives from the Ministry of External Affairs, Ministry of Home Affairs, Bureau of Immigration, and the Embassy of India in the Maldives.

Source; Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Maldives