India, Maldives sign USD 50 mn def agreement to boost maritime capability

at 1:37 pm

New Delhi (NVI): India today signed a USD 50 million Defence Line of Credit (LoC) agreement with Maldives to boost maritime capability of the island nation.

The pact was inked under India’s SAGAR (Security and Growth for All in the Region) initiative, through which New Delhi seeks to deepen economic and security cooperation with its maritime neighbors and assist in building its maritime security capabilities.

The agreement was signed in the presence of External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and government senior officials from Maldives.

“#SAGAR in action. Welcome the signing of USD 50 million Defence LoC agreement with Maldives. Will facilitate capability building in the maritime domain,” Jaishankar said in a tweet after the signing of the agreement.

EAM Jaishankar, who is on a two-day visit to Maldives, also held discussions with Maldivian defence minister Mariya Didi.

On the occasion, the EAM also signed the UTF Harbour Project agreement with the Maldivian Defence Minister. The pact will give a boost to Maldivian Coast Guard capability and facilitate regional HADR efforts, he said in a tweet.

“Glad to sign with Defence Minister @MariyaDidi the UTF Harbour Project agreement. Will strengthen Maldivian Coast Guard capability and facilitate regional HADR efforts. Partners in development, partners in security,” Jaishankar tweeted.

“Cordial meeting with Defence Minister @MariyaDidi. Useful exchange on our defence cooperation. India will always be a reliable security partner for Maldives,” the EAM said in another tweet.

Jaishankar also met Maldives President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and conveyed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s greetings. “Reiterated our fullest commitment as comprehensive development partners- during COVID and beyond,” he said in a tweet after meeting the Maldivian leader.

Later, the Indian Foreign Minister also met Speaker Mohamed Nasheed. “Delighted to meet Speaker @MohamedNasheed. As always full of ideas & energy. Told me that building democracy was the big project in Maldives. And that India is a valuable development assistance partner,” the EAM tweeted.

Yesterday, Jaishankar handed over 1,00,000 additional doses of COVID vaccine to the Maldives. The vaccination consignment was received by Maldives Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid and Health Minister Ahmed Naseem.

“From the people of India to the people of Maldives. Handed over 100,000 additional doses of COVID vaccine to FM @abdulla_shahid and Health Minister @KerafaNaseem,” the External Affairs Minister said in a tweet after handing over the vaccines.