India reiterated its commitment to the Maldives’ security and signed a USD 50 million defence Line of Credit agreement with it to boost the maritime capabilities of the strategic island nation.
The USD 50 million credit line agreement for defence projects was signed between the finance ministry of Maldives and the Export-Import Bank of India. The signing of the agreement took place after external affairs minister S Jaishankar held talks with Maldivian defence minister Mariya Didi, minister of finance Ibrahim Ameer, Minister of economic development Fayyaz Ismail and minister of national planning, housing and infrastructure Mohamed Aslam.
Jaishnakar, who is here on a two-day visit, held a “cordial meeting” with the defence minister. “Useful exchange on our defence cooperation. India will always be a reliable security partner for the Maldives,” Jaishankar tweeted. After their talks, Jaishankar and Didi signed an agreement to develop a Coastguard harbour and dockyard at the Uthuru Thila Falhu (UTF) naval base. The agreement was signed under a defence action plan signed in 2016 by then-President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom during a visit to India.
In addition to the harbour and dockyard, India will also support the development of other infrastructure needed for the harbour, support the development of communications resources and radar services, and provide training.
“Glad to sign with Defence Minister @MariyaDidi the UTF Harbour Project agreement. Will strengthen Maldivian Coast Guard capability and facilitate regional HADR ( Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief) efforts. Partners in development, partners in security,” he said. Didi said it was a great pleasure to welcome Jaishankar. “From time immemorial Defence Cooperation has been a key element of the sisterly relationship that exists between India and the Maldives.
The Coast Guard Harbour & Dockyard at SIFAVARU will mark another significant milestone,” she tweeted. Jaishankar also witnessed the signing of a project execution contract for the construction of roads in Addu, the second-largest urban area in the Maldives in terms of population. He handed over 100,000 additional doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to the Maldives.