Rajnath’s 3-day visit to Maldives begins today | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Rajnath’s 3-day visit to Maldives begins today

By, New Delhi
May 01, 2023 12:15 AM IST

Singh will also visit the ongoing project sites in the country and interact with the Indian diaspora.

Defence minister Rajnath Singh will be on a visit to the Maldives from May 1 to 3 to hold talks with the top leadership of that country, the defence ministry said in a statementon Sunday.

Defence minister Rajnath Singh will hold bilateral talks with his Maldivian counterpart Mariya Ahmed Didi, minister of foreign affairs Abdulla Shahid and he will also call on Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih. (Agencies)
Defence minister Rajnath Singh will hold bilateral talks with his Maldivian counterpart Mariya Ahmed Didi, minister of foreign affairs Abdulla Shahid and he will also call on Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih. (Agencies)

In line with India’s commitment to capacity building of friendly countries and partners in the region, Singh will hand over one fast patrol vessel and a landing craft to the Maldives National Defence Forces, the ministry said in a statement. The entire gamut of defence relations between the two countries will be reviewed during the deliberations, it said.

Singh will hold bilateral talks with his Maldivian counterpart Mariya Ahmed Didi, minister of foreign affairs Abdulla Shahid and he will also call on Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.

“The Raksha Mantri’s visit will be an important landmark in building the strong bonds of friendship between the two countries,” the statement said, adding that India and the Maldives are working closely to address shared challenges, including maritime security, terrorism, radicalisation, piracy, trafficking, organised crime and natural disasters.

Singh will also visit the ongoing project sites in the country and interact with the Indian diaspora.

The development of a key naval facility in the Maldives with Indian help will end the practice of sending vessels abroad for maintenance and improve the archipelago’s security capabilities, Shahid had earlier said.

Work on developing the harbour at Uthuru Thila Falhu base under a bilateral agreement is ongoing and the project is aimed at creating a hub for vessel maintenance.

In 2021, India extended a $50 million line of credit to the Maldives for defence projects and the two countries signed a pact to develop the harbour at Uthuru Thila Falhu. In the absence of a navy, the coast guard functions as the armed maritime component of the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF), which has received patrol vessels and maritime surveillance aircraft from India.

The Maldives is one of the biggest beneficiaries of India’s Neighbourhood First policy.

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