May 3, 2023: What does Mr. Singh's visit to the Maldives hold? Did you know he gifted a Surveillance Ship? Read to know more.
As part of India's "gift" to the Maldives on his visit to the island nation from May 1 to 3, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh delivered a swift surveillance ship and a landing craft to the Maldives.
This was announced by the defence ministry on Sunday, the day before Mr. Singh visited the Maldives, one of India's most important maritime neighbours from a strategic point of view.
According to the statement, Mr. Singh's visit will represent an "important milestone" in forging close ties of friendship between the two nations.
During his tour, Mr. Singh met with the Maldivian president, Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, and have conversations with the foreign minister, Abdulla Shahid, and the defence minister, Mariya Didi.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh presented one fast surveillance ship and a landing craft to the Maldives National Defence Forces, the Ministry of Defence announced in a statement. This gift is in keeping with India's commitment to improving the capabilities of friendly regional nations and partners.
The full range of defence cooperation between the two countries would be reassessed, according to the statement regarding Mr. Singh's discussions with the Maldivian Defence and Foreign Ministers.
One of India's most important marine neighbours is the Maldives, and in recent years, the relations between the two countries have improved overall, especially in the fields of security and military.
The Greater Male Connectivity Project (GMCP), dubbed the greatest infrastructure project in the island nation, was launched in August of last year by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Solih of the Maldives.
The proposal calls for the construction of a 6.74-kilometre-long bridge and causeway link to link Male, the capital of the Maldives, with the neighbouring islands of Villingli, Gulhifalhu, and Thilafushi.
Another major beneficiary of India's "neighbourhood first" policy is the Maldives.
Last month, Defence Secretary Giridhar Aramane travelled to the Maldives and spoke with his counterpart, Major Abdulla Shahid.