sushma swaraj
[Representational Image] "Not even a single worker will stay hungry. Everyone will get food, this is my assurance to the country through Parliament," Swaraj said. Picture: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.Reuters

Driven by pragmatic diplomacy, the Modi government wants to "constructively" engage with the new Maldives dispensation and has decided to send external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj to the island nation this weekend.

Swaraj will be visiting the country to participate in the joint commission meeting between the two countries on 10 October.

In a press briefing, external affairs ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said, "Sushma Swaraj will be co- chairing the revived India-Maldives joint commission with her Maldivian counterpart Dunya Maumoon."

He further added that "this will be the first joint commission meeting after a gap of 15 years." 

Swarup also said "the two foreign leaders would be discussing key issues of defence and security ties as well as hold talks on energy."

Swaraj's upcoming visit will follow foreign secretary S Jaishankar visit to the country this August. 

Earlier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had cancelled his visit to Maldives to protest against the arrest of former Maldives president Mohammed Nasheed by the current government headed by president Abdulla Yameen.

A key reason for the Modi government to do a rethink on its ties with Maldives is China, which is taking advantage of the country's new law on land acquisition.

An Indian Express report says that the Yameen government's new land law that allows foreign countries to buy islands in Maldives has forced India to "shift gear."

Over the years, India and Maldives have known to share close strategic, military, economic and cultural relations. Hence, "this weekend meeting will prove to be crucial, as it may make way for Narendra Modi's visit to the country" according to NDTV.

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