New Delhi: The 3rd India – Maldives Defence Cooperation Dialogue was held at Male on Monday, 14 February. The high-level Indian delegation was led by Defence Secretary Dr Ajay Kumar who co-chaired the meeting with the Chief of Defence Force of Maldives National Defence Force Major General Abdullah Shamaal. Both sides discussed joint efforts and capacity-building measures to counter trans-national crimes and enhance security in the region during the dialogue.
Earlier Dr Kumar called on Maldives Defence Minister Mariya Ahmed Didi at the Defence Ministry Headquarters in Male on Sunday. In the meeting, both sides focused on enhanced defence cooperation between India and Maldives in the past three years, the Maldives Ministry of Defence said in a statement. Dr Kumar thanked Mariya Didi for her support in strengthening the defence ties of the two nations.
The Indian side underscored the commitment of New Delhi to further improve the bilateral partnership. Maldives Defence Minister Mariya Didi noted Indian efforts for the assistance provided to them during the COVID-19 pandemic. She expressed her appreciation for vaccine shipments, medical supplies, food supplies transportation, humanitarian assistance and technical help to Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) with over 170 medical evacuations and 130 surveillance missions that have been conducted in the past few years.
The Defence Minister also appreciated the Indian Coast Guard Dockyard Project, which is a defence infrastructure project carried out in the Maldives. Dr Kumar responded that New Delhi was committed to further boosting the India-Maldives partnership.
The Maldives Defence Minister was joined by Military Secretary BG Abdul Matheen Ahmed, Director of Anti-Human Trafficking Ali Jaishan Amir, DIDC's Principal Director LTC Ahmed Shareef and MNDF Surgeon General Col Dr Ali Shahid Mohamed.
The Defence Secretary has also inaugurated the Composite Training Center Phase-I Annex built with Indian grant assistance, and handed over the refitted CGS Hurave, showcasing India's commitment of continued support to capacity building efforts of MNDF.
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