Rajnath Singh to visit Maldives

New Delhi(| Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will pay an official visit to the Maldives from May 1-3, during which he will hold talks with his Maldivian counterpart Mariya Ahmed Didi and Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid. He will also gift one Fast Patrol Vessel ship and a Landing Craft to the Maldives.

The entire gamut of defence relations between the two countries will be reviewed during the deliberations. Rajnath Singh will also call on Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, an official statement said.In tune with India’s commitment to capacity building of friendly countries and partners in the region, Rajnath Singh will gift one Fast Patrol Vessel ship and a Landing Craft to the Maldives National Defence Forces.

During his stay, he will also visit the ongoing project sites in the country and interact with the Indian diaspora. The Defence Minister’s visit will be an important landmark in building the strong bonds of friendship between the two countries.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 statement said.“The new coast guard vessel will replace the India-donated coast guard vessel Huravee and will be equipped with many facilities. The vessel is currently in the Maldives,” a report said.

“India will also donate a second landing craft assault (LCA) and 24 utility vehicles to the Maldives.
“India donated Huravee on April 16, 2006, during the presidency of President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom. The Indian government decided to donate a new coast guard to replace Huravee during President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih’s visit to India in August last year,” a report said.(UNI)