Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, fresh off his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) coalition’s third consecutive term win in India’s general election, has reiterated his commitment to bolstering bilateral relations with the Maldives, describing the island nation as a valued partner and neighbour in the Indian Ocean Region.

Modi’s comments came in response to congratulatory messages from Maldivian political leaders, including President Mohamed Muizzu. “I too look forward to closer cooperation for further strengthening our bilateral ties,” Modi stated on social media.

President Muizzu, in his message to Modi, expressed his anticipation for future collaboration. “I look forward to working together to advance our shared interests in pursuit of shared prosperity and stability for our two countries,” he said.

The sentiment was echoed by other Maldivian political leaders, including the senior advisor of the opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), former President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih. A close ally of the Modi government, President Solih praised the vibrancy and dynamism of India’s democracy. “As friends and neighbours, we take great heart in the fact that India’s democracy rests upon on the most solid of foundations,” he wrote.

Modi responded to President Solih’s message: “The special relationship between India and Maldives has witnessed all-round progress in recent years and we look forward to your continued support for its enhancement.”

Fayyaz Ismail, Chairperson of the MDP, also congratulated Modi and the BJP-led NDA on their election win. “India has proven to be a valued friend to the Maldives, with your leadership steering us to closer relations. Looking forward to future avenues of cooperation between our nations,” Ismail said in a post.

The President of the MDP, Abdulla Shahid, who served as the foreign minister during the Solih administration, also congratulated Modi. “Under your leadership, India has significantly improved its relationship with Maldives and the region. I am confident you will build on these successes towards greater cooperation,” said Shahid. He also commended the people and institutions of India for their resilience and commitment to democracy as the world’s largest democratic exercise draws to a close.