Abdullah Shahid, the Maldivian Foreign Minister, met with Admiral R Hari Kumar, the Indian Chief of Naval Staff, to discuss the necessity of improving connections between the two countries in order to maintain stability in the Indian Ocean region.
“It was a pleasure to meet Admiral R Hari Kumar, India’s Chief of Naval Staff, today. The need of enhancing collaboration between our countries in order to ensure security in the Indian Ocean Region was discussed. On Tuesday, Abdullah Shahid tweeted, “Reflected on the robust defence ties between Maldives and India.”
Admiral R Hari Kuma had many high-level bilateral talks during a three-day visit to the Maldives on April 18-20, his first abroad travel since assuming the post of Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS).
The Naval Chief met with Maldives President Ibrahim Mohamad Solih, Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdulla Shahid, Defense Minister Mariya Ahmed Didi, and Chief of Defence Staff Major General Abdulla Shamaal during his visit, according to an official release.
On April 18, the CNS hosted a reception onboard the Indian Naval Ship Sutlej in honour of the Maldives’ Defense Minister and the leadership of the Maldives National Defence Forces (MNDF), according to an official statement.
Under the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Hydrographic Cooperation, the INS Sutlej is currently deployed to the Maldives to conduct a cooperative hydrographic survey.
The CNS displayed the first collaborative navigation chart made by India and the Maldives, as well as hydrography equipment to strengthen the MNDF’s organic capabilities.
According to the release, he also presented a consignment of engineering equipment for the continued maintenance of MNDF ships, underlining India’s commitment to the MNDF’s capacity-building activities.
In many bilateral, mini-lateral, and multilateral fora, such as the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium and the Colombo Security Conclave, India and the Maldives have shared mutual ideas on maritime security concerns in the Indian Ocean.
According to the statement, the visit “further cements the strong and long-standing bilateral relations between two near maritime neighbours” and “identifies new avenues for expanding the breadth of bilateral cooperation in the defence and maritime sphere.” (ANI)