India external affairs minister visits Maldives amid signs off warming relations with neighbor

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India's External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj is visiting the Maldives amid signs of reviving relations with the neighboring archipelago state whose leaning toward China had angered the regional giant.

Swaraj arrived in the capital Male on Saturday and will lead the India-Maldives Joint Commission on Sunday, the Maldives foreign ministry said in a statement.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier this year avoided Maldives in his tour of neighboring island states.

He didn't state a specific reason however it was seen an attempt to avoid controversy amid political turmoil in the Maldives following the arrest of a pro-India opposition leader and the country's increasing leaning toward China.

China has been increasing its presence in the Indian Ocean which India considers to be its territory of influence.