India-Maldives to further strengthen ties

Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh paid a courtesy call to his Maldivian counterpart, Defence Minister of Maldives Mariya Ahmed Didi.

The Indian Defence Minister arrived in the Maldives on a three-day visit earlier on Monday morning at the invitation of Minister Mariya.

During the meeting, the two ministers discussed a wide range of regional and global security issues of mutual concern and agreed to further strengthen the cooperation in the defense and security domains. Both Ministers reaffirmed the importance of maintaining peace, stability, and security in the region and recognized the need to work together to address common security challenges. They underscored the importance of respecting international law and the rules-based international order and expressed their commitment to upholding these principles.

According to the Defense Ministry, the ministers welcomed the progress made in ongoing defense cooperation between the two neighbors, 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 counterterrorism, disaster management, cybersecurity, and maritime security. The Ministers agreed to explore new avenues for cooperation, including in the areas of defense 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.

During Minister Rajnath Singh's visit to the Maldives, he will have bilateral talks with Maldives officials to enhance defense cooperation and strengthen their long-standing defense and security partnership. Minister Rajnath Singh and Minister Didi will attend a formal ceremony to hand over an Offshore Patrol Vessel, along with an assault landing craft, and inaugurate the development project of the MNDF Coast Guard Harbour and repair facility at Sifavaru. Additionally, the Indian Defence Minister is expected to call on President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.

Minister Rajnath Singh's visit to the Maldives represents a significant milestone in the relationship between the two countries as it brings a new level of dynamism and impetuous to the already existing defense ties.