Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will visit the Maldives between May 1 to 3 in a three-day visit and gift one Fast Patrol Vessel ship and a Landing Craft to the Maldives National Defence Forces as a part of India’s commitment to capacity building of friendly countries & partners in the region. During the visit, he will hold bilateral talks with his Maldivian counterpart Mariya Ahmed Didi and Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdulla Shahid. The talks will be focusing on the whole gamut of defence relations between both nations. The gamut will be reviewed thoroughly during the deliberations.
A meeting between the Defence Minister and Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih is also scheduled to take place during the visit.
During his stay, he will also visit the ongoing project sites in the country and interact with the Indian community, read a press release issued by the Ministry of Defence.
“The entire gamut of defence relations between the two countries will be reviewed during the deliberations,” the official statement mentioned.
The Maldives is one of India’s key maritime neighbours in the Indian Ocean region and both countries have witnessed an upward trajectory in the overall bilateral ties including in areas of defence and security during the past few years.
“India and the Maldives are working closely to effectively address shared challenges, including maritime security, terrorism, radicalisation, piracy, trafficking, organised crime and natural disasters. India’s vision of SAGAR (Security and Growth for All in the Region) along with its ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy as well as Maldives’ ‘India First’ policy seek to work together to jointly develop the capabilities within the Indian Ocean Region,” the defence ministry stated.
Defence Secretary Giridhar Aramane visited Maldives last month during which he held talks with his Maldivian counterpart Major General Abdulla Shamaal. The Maldives is also one of the biggest beneficiaries of India’s Neighbourhood First policy, reported news agency PTI.