Male: After gifting of consignment of Anti-TB medicine to Maldives, Union Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan on Sunday described health cooperation as an "important pillar" of the bilateral ties between the two countries.

During his visit, the MoS handed over a batch of Tuberculosis medicines to the Maldives upon their request and said that the two nations have been able to develop deep and close cooperation at all levels.

"Witnessed gifting of a consignment of Anti-TB medicine to Maldives @MoHmv, in Male Confident that the medicine will contribute to @governmentmv plan to eliminate TB from Maldives," the MoS tweeted.

Health Cooperation is an important pillar of the India-Maldives Bilateral Relationship, he added.

Apart from a strong development relationship, India and the Maldives have been able to create a deep and intimate collaboration at all levels, including political, administrative, entrepreneurial, and people-to-people connections.

"Our relationship has achieved huge progress in the last few years under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih. India's development cooperation portfolio in the Maldives has expanded significantly in recent years," MoS Muraleedharan said in Male in a press statement on Sunday.

India has become the Maldives' most important source of tourism and the top destination for Maldivians travelling overseas.

In recent months, India has surpassed the Maldives as the country's main commercial partner. We have collaborated together to address the pandemic's concerns.

According to the official press statement of MoS Muraleedharan, India's comprehensive development partnership with Maldives covers grants, concessional credit, budgetary support, capacity building and training assistance.

"We are happy to see several projects taking off, getting delivered on the ground and benefiting people and the community. Many of these projects were inaugurated during the visits of EAM Dr Jaishankar in March 2022 and January 2023," the statement read.

"On the connectivity side, the groundbreaking ceremony of the Hanimaadhoo international airport redevelopment project was held in January 2023. Work on this project is progressing rapidly. I look forward to participating in the groundbreaking ceremony for the Gan International Airport redevelopment project later today in the presence of His Excellency President Solih," the statement added.

MoS Muraleedharan also underlined the funding initiatives and added that they are one-of-a-kind and assist the local community.

"We are already collaborating on 45 such initiatives, 27 of which have already been completed. I launched two of these projects for the establishment of an ecotourism zone in Addu yesterday, with Excellency Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid, and will launch another today," he said.