New Delhi: Union Defence Minister of India Rajnath Singh reached Maldivian Capital Male on May 1, 2023, on the invitation of his Maldivian Counterpart Defence Minister MariyaDidi.
During his visit, Rajnath Singh and MariyaDidi held bilateral talks to enhance defence cooperation and strengthen the longstanding partnership between India and Maldives. 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.
Both Ministers reaffirmed the importance of maintaining peace, stability and security in the region and recognised the need to work together to address common security challenges.
They underscored the importance of respecting international law and rules-based international order and expressed their commitment to upholding these principles.
The Ministers welcomed the progress made in ongoing defence cooperation between the two neighbours, including joint exercises and exchanges of visits by military officials.
They also noted the importance of sharing best practices and expertise in areas such as counter-terrorism, disaster management, cyber security and maritime security.
India and Maldives agreed to explore additional avenues for cooperation, including in the areas of defence trade, capacity building and joint exercises.
They also discussed the need to promote people-to-people contacts and exchanges between the armed forces of both countries.
“Happy to have met with Maldives’ Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Abdulla Shahid in Male today,” Singh said in a tweet on Tuesday.
During the visit, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh paid a courtesy call on the President of Maldives Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and met Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid.
“Excellent meeting with HEP Ibrahim Mohamed Solih at the President’s Office in Male. We discussed a wide range of issues to further strengthen the relations between India and Maldives,” Union Defence Minister tweeted on Tuesday.
Further, Rajnath Singh and Didi attended the ceremony for the commissioning of the replacement ship for Huravee, in the presence of the President of Maldives Solih. The Prime Minister of India Modi announced the provision of the replacement ship for the ageing Huravee, during President Solih’s recent visit to India.
“Delighted to handover a Fast Patrol Vessel and a Landing Craft Assault ship to Maldives today. It is a symbol of our shared commitment towards peace & security in the Indian Ocean Region,” Rajnath Singh tweeted.
Rajnath Singh also gifted Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) an additional Landing Craft. The handing over of these vessels is in line with India’s vision of Security and Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR) which seeks to work together with and jointly develop the capabilities of friends and partners for a safe, secure, prosperous and stable Indian Ocean Region.