India, Maldives welcome progress in bilateral defence cooperation

In other words India Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and his Maldivian counterpart have welcomed the progress made in the ongoing defence cooperation between the two nations.

Rajnath Singh is currently on a three-day trip to the island nation on the invitation of Maldives’ Defence Minister Mariya Didi.

The two Ministers held bilateral talks to enhance defence cooperation and strengthen the longstanding partnership between India and Maldives. A joint statement issued by the Defence Ministry here on Wednesday said.

They discussed a wide range of regional and global security issues of mutual concern. And agreed to deepen their cooperation in the defence and security domains.

Rajnath Singh and Didi reaffirmed the importance of maintaining peace, stability and security in the region. And recognised the need to work together to address common security challenges, according to the Ministry.

They underscored the importance of respecting international law. And rules-based order and expressed their commitment to upholding these principles, it added.

The Ministers also agreed to explore additional avenues for cooperation. Including in the areas of defence trade, capacity building and joint exercises. As well as discussed the need to promote people-to-people contacts and exchanges between the armed forces of the two nations.

On Tuesday, Rajnath Singh paid a courtesy call on President of Maldives Ibrahim Mohamed Solih. And met Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid.

Later in the day, Rajnath Singh and his counterpart attendeda ceremony for the commissioning of the replacement ship for Huravee, in the presence of the President Solih.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced the provision of the replacement ship for the aging Huravee, during Solih’s recent visit to India.

Rajnath Singh also gifted the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) an additional landing craft.

The handing over of these vessels are in line with India’s vision of Security. And Growth for all in the Region that seeks to work together with and jointly develop the capabilities of allies. And partners for a safe, secure, prosperous and stable Indian Ocean Region.

The visit saw the laying of the foundation stone for the MNDF Coast Guard ‘Ekatha Harbour’ by Rajnath Singh and Minister Didi.

The development of the Coastguard Harbour and repair facility at Sifavaru is one of the biggest grant-in-aid projects of India.

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