Defence minister concludes visit to India

Minister of Defence Mariya Ahmed Didi on Saturday concluded her trip to neighbouring India and returned to Maldives.

The minister traveled to India on February 3 on the invitation of the Indian government. During the visit, Minister Mariya met with her Indian counterpart Rajnath Singh, and discussed military relations between both countries and how it can be further strengthened.

The ministers also discussed the provision of emergency protective gear to the Maldives. The Maldivian defence minister thanked the Indian government for their assistance in evacuating the seven Maldivians in Wuhan, China, the epicentre of the deadly novel coronavirus outbreak. The tests conducted on the seven Maldivians by India confirmed that none of the seven Maldivian citizens were infected with the virus.

Minister Mariya also met with the Chief of Defence of the Indian Army, Staff General Bipin Rawat during the visit.

The minister expressed the Maldives' interest in obtaining a similar vessel to 'CGS Kaamiyaabu', a 28-metre vessel equipped with state-of-the-art technology is designed for coastal patrolling, surveillance, high-speed interception and search-and-rescue operations that was gifted by the Indian government in December. According to the minister, she received a 'positive signal' from the Indian government regarding the request.