To provide a major fillip to the capacity-building measures to counter trans-national crimes and to enhance security in the Indo-pacific region, Indian Defence Secretary Dr Ajay Kumar co-chaired ‘3rd India – Maldives Defence Cooperation Dialogue’ with Chief of Defence Force (CDF) of Maldives National Defence Force Major General Abdulla Shamaal.
Both sides discussed joint efforts and capacity building initiatives being taken by both the countries to deter trans-national crimes and bolster national security in the region.
“Extremely pleased to welcome Indian Defence Secretary Dr Ajay Kumar & the high-level delegation to the third Defence Cooperation Dialogue (DCD),” said Major General Abdulla Shamaal while adding that the Defence Dialogue is instrumental for defence cooperations.
Defence Secretary Dr Ajay Kumar also expressed his delightedness for being part of the 3rd Defence Cooperation Dialogue in the Maldives.
Further, the Defence Secretary also inaugurated the Composite Training Center Phase-I Annex built with Indian grant assistance in Maldives and handed over the refitted CGS Huravee – a made-in-India patrol vessel.
It is noteworthy that Maldives is one of India’s key maritime neighbours in the Indian Ocean Region and the bilateral defence and security ties have been on an upward trajectory in the last few years.
Defence Secretary’s meeting with Maldives Defence Minister
During the visit to the Maldives, Defence Secretary Dr Ajay Kumar also hold a meeting with Minister of Defence Mariya Didi.
The meeting at the Ministry of Defence in Male’, saw the discussions focused on the immense and expanding India-Maldives defence cooperation in the past three years.
Further, Defence Minister Mariya Didi thanked India for the immense assistance during the Covid pandemic with vaccine shipments, medical supplies, transportation of food supplies, humanitarian assistance and technical support for MNDF, with more than 170 medical evacuations and 130 surveillance missions conducted in the past couple of years.
The Defence Minister also expressed her deep appreciation for the ‘Coast Guard Dockyard’ project, which is set to be the most comprehensive defence infrastructure development project carried out in the Maldives.
Defence Secretary Dr Ajay Kumar expressed the commitment of the Government of India to further boosting the India-Maldives partnership.
Development cooperation has been an imperative pillar of the Indo-Maldives relationship with New Delhi providing Lines of Credit of over USD 1.2 billion (one billion is equal to Rs 100 crore) for infrastructure and grants for community development projects in the island nation.