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India approves opening of first consulate in the Maldives

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The Indian government on Tuesday approved the opening of a new consulate in Addu City of the Maldives this year to augment the country’s diplomatic presence in the Indian Ocean archipelago.

A meeting of the Union cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, cleared the proposal for opening the first such consulate in the Maldives, which has an important place in the government’s “Neighbourhood First” policy.

“Opening of a consulate general in Addu City will help augment India’s diplomatic presence in Maldives and make it commensurate with the existing and aspired level of engagement,” an official statement said.

“This is also a forward-looking step in pursuit of our national priority of growth and development or ‘Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas’. Augmentation of India’s diplomatic presence will... provide market access for Indian companies and bolster Indian exports of goods and services,” the statement added.