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Rajnath heads for Maldives to anchor India as a net security provider in regional waters

Rajnath Singh's is visiting Maldives to shore up India's Indian Ocean ties

Union Minister of Defence Rajnath Singh will embark on an official 3-day visit to the Maldives between May 1 and 3, a government release said on Sunday.
According to the government release, the Defence Minister will hold bilateral talks with his Maldivian counterpart Mariya Ahmed Didi and Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdulla Shahid during the visit. “The entire gamut of defence relations between the two countries will be reviewed during the deliberations. The Defence Minister will also call on Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih”, the statement said.
The release further stated, “In tune with India’s commitment to capacity building of friendly countries & partners in the region, minister Rajnath Singh will gift one Fast Patrol Vessel ship and a Landing Craft to the Maldives National Defence Forces.”
“During his stay, he will also visit the ongoing project sites in the country and interact with the Indian diaspora. The Defence Minister’s visit will be an important landmark in building the strong bonds of friendship between the two countries”, the statement added.
The government release further said, “India and the Maldives are working closely to effectively address shared challenges, including maritime security, terrorism, radicalisation, piracy, trafficking, organised crime and natural disasters.”
“India’s vision of SAGAR (Security and Growth for All in the Region) along with its ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy as well as Maldives’ ‘India First’ policy seek to work together to jointly develop the capabilities within the Indian Ocean Region”, the statement said.

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