India and Maldives on Tuesday exchanged diplomatic notes for the implementation of a visa facilitation agreement to boost people to people contacts between the two countries.
The agreement was signed during Maldivian President Ibrahim Solih's visit to India in December within a month after taking charge of the high office. The visit was seen as an effort by his government to repair ties with India which came under severe strain during the presidentship of Abdulla Yameen, who was known to be close to China.
During Mr Yameen's rule, there were several diplomatic issues with many Indians being reportedly denied visas.
The exchange of diplomatic notes follows signature on the agreement by the President after the union cabinet's approval.
The agreement will be effective from March 11 after all formalities including information being provided to all immigration offices, border points and customs authorities have been completed.
This agreement provides a very liberal visa regime for Maldivian nationals to visit India for tourism, business, education and medical purposes. It also makes it easier for Indians to travel to Maldives for business purposes.
This agreement will facilitate greater people to people contacts which was one of the decisions taken during the meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Solih in December.