Male: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar reached Maldives on Wednesday on his fourth visit to the island country after assuming office in 2019.

"Delighted to arrive in Maldives for my fourth visit as External Affairs Minister. Thank FM @abdulla_shahid for the warm welcome. The synergies of India's Neighborhood First and Maldives' India First policies strengthen further," he tweeted.

He was warmly welcomed by Foreign Minister of Maldives Abdulla Shahid.

"Welcome to the Maldives my dear friend @DrSJaishankar! And this time to the northernmost atolls, to bear witness the impact of developmental assistance extended through the ever-reliable #MaldivesIndiaPartnership," Shahid tweeted.

Prior to this Shahid posted a video on his social media and said that he is leaving for N Maafaru to receive his counterpart.

Taking to Twitter, Shahid wrote,"Leaving HA Dhidhdhoo to N. Maafaru to receive External Affairs Minister of India @DrSJaishankar on his fourth official visit to the Maldives."

This is Jaishankar's fourth visit to the Maldives since he assumed office in 2019.

Earlier, Ministry of External Affairs has said that Jaishankar will visit Maldives and Sri Lanka from January 18-20 where he will sign agreements related to the bilateral development cooperation and launch several key India-supported projects in Male.

In the Maldives, he would call on President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and will also hold discussions with the Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdulla Shahid.

"EAM's visit will see the signing of agreements related to the bilateral development cooperation, ground-breaking/ inauguration/ handing-over and launch of a number of key India-supported projects that will contribute to the socio-economic development of the Maldives," the MEA statement read.

The ministry stated that Jaishankar's visit to Sri Lanka will follow his previous trips to the bankrupt country in January 2021 and March 2022. Sri Lanka is a close friend and neighbour, and India has always stood by the people of Sri Lanka.

"During the visit, EAM will call on President Ranil Wickremesinghe and Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena and also hold discussions with Minister of Foreign Affairs MUM Ali Sabry on the entire gamut of close India-Sri Lanka partnership and steps to strengthen it in all spheres," the statement stated.

"Both Maldives and Sri Lanka are India's key maritime neighbours in the Indian Ocean Region and occupy a special place in the Prime Minister's vision of 'SAGAR' (Security and Growth for All in the Region) and 'Neighbourhood First'. EAM's visit is testimony to the importance that India attaches to its close and friendly relations with the Maldives and Sri Lanka," the statement added.