India to build Harbour for Maldivian Coast Guard, foundation stone laid

The development of the Coast Guard Harbour and repair facility at Sifavaru is one of the biggest grant-in-aid projects of India

May 03, 2023 05:50 pm | Updated May 04, 2023 01:50 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh with Maldivian counterpart Mariya didi lay foundation stone for MNDF Ekatha harbour in Male. Photo: Twitter/@DefenceMinIndia

Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh with Maldivian counterpart Mariya didi lay foundation stone for MNDF Ekatha harbour in Male. Photo: Twitter/@DefenceMinIndia

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and his Maldivian counterpart Mariya Didi on May 3 laid the foundation stone for the Maldives National Defence Forces (MNDF) Coast Guard ‘Ekatha Harbour’. The development of the Coast Guard Harbour and repair facility at Sifavaru is one of the biggest grant-in-aid projects of India, a joint press communique issued at the end of Mr. Singh’s three-day tour said. This is the first visit of an Indian Defence Minister to the island nation in 11 years.

“Both Ministers reaffirmed the importance of maintaining peace, stability and security in the region and recognised the need to work together to address common security challenges. They underscored the importance of respecting international law and rules-based international order and expressed their commitment to upholding these principles,” the joint communique said. Both Parties reaffirmed their commitment to further strengthening the partnership between their countries, and expressed common sentiments that they looked forward to continuing the dialogue and cooperation in the future, it stated.

Noting the progress made in ongoing defence cooperation between the two countries including joint exercises and exchanges of visits by military officials, the two Ministers also noted the “importance of sharing best practices and expertise in areas such as counter terrorism, disaster management, cyber security and maritime security.”

The Ministers agreed to explore additional avenues for cooperation, including in the areas of defence trade, capacity building and joint exercises, the communique said.

The Air Force has over 70 ALH while the Navy has 18 ALH in service. 

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