New Delhi. India and Maldives held substantive discussions on further strengthening bilateral defence cooperation in New Delhi on January 24.
Both side agreed that the two countries would continue their traditionally close cooperation on issues of maritime security, counter-terrorism and medical cooperation. Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman reiterated India’s commitment to contribute towards capacity building and training requirements of the Maldives National Defence Forces (MNDF).
The Defence Minister also received Maldivian Defence Minister Mariya Ahmed Didi at the Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) Headquarters at South Block in New Delhi. The Maldivian Defence Minister has been in India on official bilateral visit. Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) General Bipin Rawat, Chief of the Air Staff (CAS) Air Chief Marshal B S Dhanoa, Vice Chief of the Naval Staff (VCNS) Vice Admiral Ajit Kumar P and Additional Director General of the Indian Coast Guard VSR Murthy called on the Maldivian Defence Minister.
Ms Didi would witness the 70th Republic Day Parade at Rajpath as well as visit various Indian defence institutions such as the Indian Maritime Analysis Centre in Gurugram and Army Training Command in Shimla. She would also interact with the cadets of National Cadet Corps (NCC), including those from the Maldives, at the NCC Republic Day Camp.
On this occasion, the second round of the India-Maldives Defence Cooperation Dialogue was also held. The Indian delegation was headed by Defence Secretary Sanjay Mitra and Maldivian side was led by Chief of Defence Forces of Maldives Major General Abdulla Shamaal.