New Delhi: Stating that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the first leader to congratulate the new President-elect of Maldives, Mohamed Muizzu, the Ministry of External Affairs said that New Delhi looks forward to engaging with the new administration in Male.

Notably, Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) candidate Mohamed Muizzu won the Maldivian presidential elections on Saturday by securing over 53 per cent of votes in the polls.

Addressing the press briefing on Thursday, MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said, "Prime Minister was the first leader to convey greetings and felicitations to President-elect. PM Modi conveyed and reaffirmed India's commitment to strengthening the time-tested India-Maldives bilateral relationship and enhancing overall bilateral cooperation in the Indian Ocean region"

"Subsequently, our High Commissioner in Male called on the President-elect, and he had a good discussion on various aspects of our bilateral relationship including development cooperation," he added.

The MEA also congratulated the Maldivian people for demonstrating their faith in democratic governance and constitutional processes, and firm commitment to democracy and the rule of law.

"The focus of our partnership with Maldives has always been on capacity building and working together to address our shared challenges and priorities. As neighbours, we need to collaborate closely to address the challenges confronting our region such as transnational crimes and Humanitarian Assistance Disaster Relief (HADR). We look forward to engaging with the new administration in Maldives on all such issues," Bagchi said.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Indian High Commissioner to the Republic of Maldives, Munu Mahawar, met with President-elect Mohamed Muizzu, conveying PM Modi's congratulatory message to the newly elected leader.

The meeting was focused on enhancing and strengthening bilateral relations between the two countries.

Earlier, on October 1, Prime Minister Modi congratulated Muizzu on winning the Maldivian presidential elections.

Taking to his official handle on X, PM Modi posted, "Congratulations and greetings to @MMuizzu on being elected as President of the Maldives. India remains committed to strengthening the time-tested India-Maldives bilateral relationship and enhancing our overall cooperation in the Indian Ocean Region."

The presidential candidate from the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM), Muizzu, won the Maldivian elections on Saturday, Al Jazeera reported citing local media.

Muizzu won with more than 53 per cent of the votes, after the results of votes in all 586 ballot boxes were tallied.

This was the second round of polling after no candidate emerged as a clear winner in the first round. Muizzu had emerged as the frontrunner in the first round with around 46 per cent votes, followed by Ibrahim Solih's 39 per cent.