Defence Minister Rajnath Singh’s Visit to Maldives

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh’s visit to the Maldives marks the first visit by an Indian Defence Minister in 11 years, highlighting the growing relationship between India and the island nation.

Inauguration of the ‘Ekatha Harbour’

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, along with his Maldivian counterpart Mariya Didi, laid the foundation stone for the Maldives National Defence Forces Coast Guard ‘Ekatha Harbour’ on May 3. The ‘Ekatha Harbour’ is a coast guard harbour and repair facility in Sifavaru, and it is one of India’s largest grant-in-aid projects.

Gifting Patrol Vessels

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh gifted a fast patrol vessel and a landing craft to the Maldives during his visit to the country on May 3. The gifting of the two platforms to one of India’s strategically important maritime neighbors is a move to counter China’s persistent efforts to increase its strategic influence in the region. The fast patrol vessel will enhance the Maldives’ maritime security, while the landing craft will improve its coastal protection capabilities. The move is expected to bolster India’s defense cooperation with the Maldives, a country that has increasingly become an important partner in India’s Indian Ocean strategy.

Strengthening Partnership and Security

In a joint communique issued at the end of Union Defence Minister’s three-day tour, the two sides emphasized the importance of maintaining peace, stability, and security in the region, recognizing the need to work together to address common security challenges. Both ministers also expressed their commitment to upholding principles of respecting international law and rules-based international order.



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