In his first overseas trip since taking over as the Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Adm R. Hari Kumar during a three–day visit to the Maldives unveiled the first navigation chart jointly produced by India and the Maldives and handed over hydrography equipment to consolidate the capabilities of the Maldivian National Defence Forces (MNDF).
“The CNS also visited MNDF maritime assets and complimented the joint efforts of MNDF personnel and the Indian Navy for maintaining the role worthiness of these assets. He presented a consignment of engineering equipment for further sustenance of MNDF ships, thereby reaffirming India’s commitment to the capacity–building efforts of the MNDF,” the Navy said on Wednesday.
The INS Sutlej is deployed to the Maldives for undertaking joint hydrographic survey under the MoU on hydrographic cooperation. Adm. Kumar hosted a reception onboard INS Sutlej on April 18 in honour of Defence Minister of the Maldives Mariya Ahmed Didi and the leadership of the MNDF.
“Minister Mariya noted the promptness with which India has submitted the Detailed Project Report (DPR) of the Coast Guard Harbour and Dockyard to Maldives, the review of which will be completed soon,” the Maldivian Defence Ministry said. She thanked the Indian Navy for facilitating the transport of medicines and hospital consumables to the Maldives during the pandemic and expressed appreciation for the continuous assistance and support rendered by the Indian Navy in maintenance and repair of the MNDF Coast Guard Fleet.
During the visit from April 18 to 20, Adm. Kumar called on President of the Maldives Ibrahim Mohamad Solih, Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid and Defence Minister and Chief of Defence Force (CDF) Major General Abdulla Shamaal.
Stating that India and the Maldives share common perspectives on maritime security issues in the Indian Ocean, the statement noted that both have been working closely in several bilateral, mini–lateral and multilateral fora such as the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium and the Colombo Security Conclave.