“A shining model of collaboration and cooperation between the countries”

Defence Minister A.K. Antony, on a three-day visit to the Maldives, on Sunday opened ‘SENAHIYA,’ a Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) hospital, established in Male with Indian assistance.

Maldives Defence Minister Mohamed Nazim thanked India for its assistance to his country in all areas of development and said the enduring friendship between the two countries would improve and expand, irrespective of political changes. The Maldives, he said, would stand by India to ensure the maritime security of the sensitive Indian Ocean Region.

Mr. Antony described the hospital as a shining model of collaboration and cooperation between the countries and a milestone in the friendship, especially between the two armed forces.

Besides providing the 25-bed hospital with state-of-the-art medical equipment, the government of India has deployed a highly qualified medical team for establishing and running the facility.

After calling on Mr. Nazim at his office, Mr. Antony led the high-level Indian delegation at the bilateral talks. Both sides reviewed the progress of the defence cooperation and discussed ways of further expanding it.

Mr. Nazim thanked India for its prompt delivery of the extensive assistance agreed at Mr. Antony’s previous visit to the island nation in August 2009.

Mr. Antony said India would be steadfast in its commitment to work with the Maldives and give it the highest priority.

He will lay the foundation for the MNDF Composite Training Centre, to be established with Indian assistance, at Maafilafushi (on Lhaviyaani Atoll), and call on President Mohamed Waheed on Monday before returning home, official reports received here said.

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