- India and Maldives held bilateral discussions on further strengthening defence cooperation in the Indian Ocean region.
- This comes within 2 months after the pro-Indian leader Ibrahim Mohamed Solih was elected in Maldives.
India and Maldives held substantive discussions on further strengthening bilateral defence cooperation here today. Both India and Maldives agreed that the two countries would continue their traditionally close cooperation on issues of maritime security, counter-terrorism and medical cooperation.
Raksha Mantri Smt Nirmala Sitharaman reiterated India’s commitment to contribute towards capacity building and training requirements of the Maldives National Defence Forces.
In recent times, Maldives had shifted interest towards China. The previous President Abdulla Yameen had strong pro-China and anti-India sentiments. In November 2018, Ibrahim Mohamed Solih was elected vast majority of 58.4%, defeating former President Abdulla Yameen.
The Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi had visited Maldives on his swearing in Ceremony. The first time for him to do so.
Earlier, Raksha Mantri received Maldivian Defence Minister Ms Mariya Ahmed Didi at South Block here today who is in India on official bilateral visit. Chief of the Army Staff General BipinRawat, Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal B S Dhanoa, Vice Chief of the Naval Staff Vice Admiral Ajit Kumar P and Additional Director General of the Indian Coast Guard ShriVSR Murthy call on the Maldivian Defence Minister.
Ms Didiwill witness the 70th Republic Day Parade at Rajpath as well as visit various Indian defence institutions such as the Indian Maritime Analysis Centre in Gurugram and Army Training Command in Shimla. She will also interact with National Cadet Corps (NCC) cadets, including those from the Maldives, at the NCC Republic Day Camp.
The second round of the India-Maldives Defence Cooperation Dialogue was also held today. The Indian delegation was headed by Defence Secretary Shri Sanjay Mitra and Maldivian side was led by Chief of Defence Forces of Maldives Major General Abdulla Shamaal.
(With Inputs from PIB India)