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India and Maldives to further strengthen cooperation

by | Aug 3, 2022 | India

India extends a USD 100 Million new Line of Credit to finance infrastructure projects in the Maldives.
PM Narendra Modi with Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, President of the Republic of Maldives.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Maldives President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih agreed to deepen institutional linkages for cooperation in the areas of defence and security, investment promotion, human resource development, and infrastructure development including climate and energy.

India will also replace the ship for the earlier provided ship-CGS Huravee Supply second Landing Craft Assault (LCA) to Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) and gifting of 24 utility vehicles to Maldives National Defence Force.

The Government approved a contract for the USD 128 Mn Hanimadhoo Airport Development project and the commencement of the tendering process of the USD 324 Mn Gulhifahlu Port development project under Line of Credit.

Several new projects were announced, and MoU’s signed today after the Maldivian President met the Indian President, Indian Prime Minister, and Foreign Minister in his four-day official trip to India. This is President Solih’s third visit to India since assuming office on 17 November 2018. President Solih is accompanied by a high-level official delegation comprising Ibrahim Ameer, Minister of Finance, Fayyaz Ismail, Minister of Economic Development, Aishath Mohamed Didi, Minister of Gender, Family and Social Services, and a business delegation.

The other projects approved are the Feasibility Report and financial closure for the USD 30 Million Cancer Hospital project under Line of Credit; USD 119 Million Buyer’s Credit financing by Exim Bank of India for additional 2,000 social housing units in Hulhumale, Facilitation of duty-free tuna exports to India from the Maldives, Supply of a replacement ship for the earlier provided ship-CGS Huravee -to Maldives National Defence Force, Supply of the second Landing Craft Assault (LCA) to Maldives National Defence Force and gifting of 24 utility vehicles to Maldives National Defence Force.

The joint press release issued by the ministry said that “Prime Minister Modi underlined that the Maldives occupies a special place in the hearts of Indians and India’s “Neighbourhood First” policy. President Solih reaffirmed his government’s “India-First Policy”. The two leaders expressed satisfaction at the rapid expansion of the bilateral partnership in recent years, which has benefited the citizens of both countries. The leaders reiterated their commitment to further strengthen and deepen this mutually beneficial comprehensive partnership.

President Solih also met with the President of India, Smt. Droupadi Murmu, during the visit and congratulated President Murmu on assuming office as India’s 15th President.

Maldives President is visiting Mumbai tomorrow where he will meet the Governor of Maharashtra, Shri Bhagat Singh Koshyari.

Economic, defence, security Partnership

In addition to the government of India’s Line of Credit of USD 100 million to finance infrastructure projects in Maldives Prime Minister Modi and President Solih reviewed the Economic Cooperation and People-to-People Ties and Development Partnership. Both leaders participated in the virtual “pouring of the first concrete” ceremony of the USD 500 million Greater Male Connectivity Project being built with support from India.

The two leaders agreed on energizing cooperation in maritime safety and security, maritime domain awareness, and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief through the implementation of ongoing projects and capacity-building initiatives. Prime Minister Modi reaffirmed India’s commitment to strengthen cooperation in line with India’s Security and Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR) vision.

Both leaders expressed satisfaction with the speedy progress made in the pre-construction phase of the Coast Guard Harbour at SIFAVARU. This project would assist the Government of Maldives in enhancing the capability of the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) in exercising jurisdiction and undertaking maritime surveillance of its EEZ and atolls.

Prime Minister Modi announced the supply of the second Landing Assault Craft (LCA) and a replacement ship for the earlier provided CGS Huravee to the Maldives National Defence Force to the Government of Maldives. Prime Minister Modi also announced the gifting of 24 utility vehicles to the Maldives National Defence Force. President Solih thanked Prime Minister Modi for India’s continuing support for the modernisation of MNDF infrastructure and equipment, through grant assistance and the USD 50 mn Line of Credit facility for defence projects. Cooperation in Multilateral Forums
The leaders agreed on the need for urgent reforms of the UN bodies, particularly the Security Council. In this regard, Prime Minister Modi appreciated Maldives’ support for India’s candidature for permanent membership of an expanded and reformed UN Security Council. President Solih thanked India for support for the Maldives’ candidature for the Presidency of the seventy-sixth session of the UN General Assembly. Both leaders also agreed to continue working on multilateral issues of common concern, at the UN and other international fora.

Surinder Singh Oberoi
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