Indian defense minister arrives in Maldives on official visit

Indian Defense Minister Rajnath Singh. (Photo/PTI)

Indian Defense Minister Rajnath Singh has arrived in Maldives on an official visit at the invitation of his Maldivian counterpart, Mariya Ahmed Didi.

He was welcomed upon arrival at the Velana International Airport by Mariya and the Chief of Defense Force Major General Abdulla Shamaal.

During the visit, Mariya and Singh will hold bilateral talks to enhance defense cooperation and strengthen the long-standing defense and security partnership between Maldives and India.

They are also scheduled to attend a formal ceremony to hand over an offshore patrol vessel, along with an assault landing craft, and inaugurate the development project of the MNDF Coast Guard Harbor and repair facility at Sifavaru.

Singh is also scheduled to call on Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih

The Defense Ministry said in a statement that the visit represents “a significant milestone in the relationship between the two countries as it brings a new level of dynamism and impetuous to the already existing defense ties.

Singh’s visit to Maldives comes at the heels of a one-day meeting of Shanghai Cooperation Organization in New Delhi last weekend, during which he urged greater cooperation to eliminate terrorism.