Reaffirming its commitment for overall development and security of its maritime neighbour, India has signed a 50 million dollar Line of Credit agreement in defence sector with the Maldives.
External Affair Minister S Jaishankar, who was in the Maldives yesterday, said that the agreement will facilitate capability building in the maritime domain.
The credit line agreement for defence projects was signed between the Finance Ministry of Maldives and the Export-Import Bank of India to boost the maritime capabilities of the strategically vital Indian Ocean island nation.
Dr Jaishankar also co-signed the UTF Harbour Project agreement with Maldives Defence Minister Mariya Didi. He said that the project agreement will strengthen Maldivian Coast Guard capability and facilitate regional Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief efforts.
The minister said that India and Maldives are partners in development as well as partners in security. The Maldives National Defence Force Coast Guard Harbour will come up at Sifavaru.
Mariya Didi said that defence cooperation between India and Maldives has been a key element of the sisterly relationship between the two countries from time immemorial. She said that the Coast Guard Harbour and Dockyard at Sifavaru will mark another significant milestone in this journey.
Dr Jaishankar also called on Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and reaffirmed India’s commitment as a comprehensive development partner of the island nation. India has also given over one lakh additional doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to the Maldives.
Mr Solih thanked India for the assistance. Taking to Twitter, Mr Solih thanked PM Narendra Modi and the people of India for the generous assistance announced during Jaishankar’s visit including the Covishied vaccine.
India also extended a new line of credit of US dollar 40 million for the development of new sports infrastructure in the Maldives.
In a joint statement issued later, Maldives reiterated its support for India’s candidature for permanent membership of an expanded and reformed UN Security Council. India also reiterated its support for the Maldives candidature for the Presidency of the 76th session of the General Assembly.