Maldives president Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and India's prime minister Narendra Modi shake hands ahead of their meeting at Hyderabad House in New Delhi, India, December 17 (REUTERS/Adnan Abidi).

Indian prime minister Narendra Modi on Monday (17) has announced a financial support of $1.4billion to the South Asian nation, Maldives in a bid to support its overall economic growth.

Modi announced his support to the tiny island nation while speaking in a press conference with the visiting Maldives president Ibrahim Mohamed Solih in New Delhi. Solih arrived in New Delhi on Sunday (16) on a three-day visit, his first foreign trip after taking the charge of the top office in the island nation a month ago.

“For Maldives’ social and economic development we are providing a financial assistance of $1.4bn in the form of budgetary support, currency swap agreements and concessional lines of credit,” Modi said.

The two countries have signed four agreements including one on visa facilitation. “We held successful talks in a cordial atmosphere. We vowed to strengthen ties,” Modi said in his press statement, with Solih by his side.

Both countries will work to strengthen their bilateral relations in the vast Indian ocean region.  “We will not allow our countries to be used for activities which can be harmful to each other’s interests,” Modi asserted.

“We want greater trade ties with Maldives. There are increasing opportunities for Indian companies in the island nation,” Indian prime minister noted.

Speaking in the press conference, Solih said that the two nations have agreed to strengthen their maritime security co-operation in the Indian Ocean region through coordinated patrol and aerial surveillance.

Indian prime minister had took part in the Solih’s swearing-in ceremony on November 17.

Bilateral relations between India and the Maldives had deteriorated after then president Abdulla Yameen imposed emergency on February 5, 2018. India had criticised president’s decision and asked his government to restore the honour and credibility of the electoral and political process of the nation by releasing political prisoners. The emergency lasted for six weeks.

In a big surprise Solih won an election in September. At present, he is on his efforts to reset his country’s ties with regional power India after previous president pushed the Maldives closer to China.