New Delhi: Lauding India for having a "bigger heart", Maldives foreign minister Abdulla Shahid on Wednesday said that New Delhi has always come forward to provide assistance to the island nation during difficult situations.

"If you look at difficult situations that Maldives had in that past and the countries that came to Maldives' rescue, India has been the first country to come to our assistance, every time," Shahid said, adding that "India has a bigger heart". Asserting that India and Maldives have excellent relations, the foreign minister said, "During the past year, our two governments and people have seen that together we can do so many things. Prime Minister Narendra Modi was at the inauguration of President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih. President Solih was in Delhi on December 17, 2018, one month to the date of his inauguration. PM Modi was in Male after his re-election. PM Modi and President Solih also met in New York."

When asked if China is playing a bigger role than India in Male, the foreign minister said that President Solih-led government is not in the "business to play one against the other" and "all you have to do is look at the track record of where India is and where China is."

Shahid is in India to attendthe  Joint Commission between Maldives and India. He is also scheduled to meet external affairs minister S Jaishnakar.

"I am in Delhi to attend Joint Commission between India and Maldives. The Commission is supposed to meet every two years, but last time it was held in 2015 due to some reasons. Joint Commission is important in order to have bilateral relations in a more structured manner," he said.

"We will be meeting S Jaishankar and I will be reviewing the work that has been done in the past year and also set the agenda for next two years, " he added.