Indian defence minister to visit Maldives; gift patrol vessel
The Indian defence ministry said Singh's three-day visit will be an "important landmark" in building strong bonds of friendship between the two countries.
Indian defence minister Rajnath Singh will hand over a fast patrol vessel and a landing craft to the Maldives as India's gift during his visit to the island nation on Monday, Indian government said Sunday.
In a statement, the Indian defence ministry said Singh's three-day visit will be an "important landmark" in building strong bonds of friendship between the two countries.
During his visit, Singh will call on Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and hold talks with foreign minister Abdulla Shahid and defence minister Mariya Didi.
"In tune with India's commitment to capacity building of friendly countries and partners in the region, defence minister Rajnath Singh will gift one fast patrol vessel ship and a landing craft to the Maldives National Defence Forces," the statement read.
On Singh's talks with the Maldivian defence and foreign ministers, it said the entire gamut of defence relations between the two countries will be reviewed.
The Maldives is one of India's key maritime neighbours in the Indian Ocean region and the overall bilateral ties, including in the areas of defence and security, have been on an upward trajectory in the last few years.
Indian defence secretary Giridhar Aramane visited the Maldives last month and held talks with his Maldivian counterpart, Major General Abdulla Shamaal.