New Delhi/Male, May 2: Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, who is visiting the Maldives, on Tuesday paid a courtesy call on Maldives President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, who later commissioned the new offshore patrol vessel gifted by India to Maldives.
The meeting was held at the President’s Office in the morning.
Speaking at the meeting, President Solih fondly spoke of the long history of close cooperation between the neighbouring countries.
He said the relationship between the two countries had been remarkable within the past four years, with numerous high-level visits and people-to-people contact, a statement from the President’s House said.
Rajnath Singh expressed confidence in the continued partnership in defence cooperation between India and the Maldives, highlighting that the commissioning of the Coast Guard Ship ‘Huravee’ and the Landing Craft gifted during the Defence Minister’s visit would strengthen the Maldives’ capabilities in maritime security.
President Solih commended the remarkable progress achieved in the hydrography surveys being conducted with assistance from India. He expressed gratitude to the government of India for providing the equipment to undertake the study. The Defence Minister highlighted that three rounds of surveys had been conducted to support the Maldivian government’s blue economy initiative. He stated that the charts drawn up from the surveys have now been shared with the Maldives and assured India’s assistance in the periodic update of the charts.
Speaking further, President Solih expressed gratitude for India’s continued aid and support to the Maldives in various sectors, noting that it is a testament to India’s special regard for the Maldives. He also conveyed the Maldives’ commitment to strengthening this relationship.
Concluding the meeting, the Defence Minister spoke about the progress of various developmental projects undertaken by India in the Maldives and assured India’s continued assistance and support to the Maldives.
President Solih later commissioned the new offshore patrol vessel gifted by India to Maldives. The ceremony took place this morning at the port area of The Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF)’s Coast Guard ships in Hulhumale.
Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Maldives Minister of Defense Mariya Ahmed Didi, Indian Higher Commissioner Munu Mahawar, and a delegation of the Government of India and senior officers of the MNDF attended the ceremony as well.
During the ceremony, President Solih handed over the national flag to be hoisted on board the offshore patrol vessel to the Commanding Officer. The ship, named ‘C.G.S. Huravee’ started service today, and was given as an exchange for the ship previously being operated as “C.G.S. Huravee”.
At the ceremony, Minister Mariya Didi presented a plaque of appreciation to her Indian counterpart Rajnath Singh in honour of their continued aid.
This donation will greatly improve the Maldives National Defence Force Coast Guard’s operating capabilities in maritime security, bolstering national security, the statement said.
Rajnath Singh in tweets said:
“Excellent meeting with HEP Ibrahim Mohamed Solih at the President’s Office in Male. We discussed a wide range of issues to further strengthen the relations between India and Maldives.
“Delighted to handover a Fast Patrol Vessel and a Landing Craft Assault ship to Maldives today. It is a symbol of our shared commitment towards peace & security in the Indian Ocean Region.”