Reiterating its commitment to the security of Island nation the Maldives, India on Sunday signed a USD 50 million defence Line of the Credit Agreement. The deal between the two countries would boost the maritime capabilities of Maldives which is strategically located in the India Ocean region.
The $50 million credit line agreement was signed between the Ministry of Finance of the Maldives and the Export-Import Bank of India for defence projects. The agreement was signed after talks with Maldivian Minister of Defence Mariya Didi, Minister of Finance Ibrahim Ameer, Minister of Economic Development Fayyaz Ismail and Minister of National Planning, Housing and Infrastructure Mohamed and of India's External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar.
"Cordial meeting with Defence Minister Mariya Didi. Useful exchange on our defence cooperation. India will always be a reliable security partner for the Maldives," Jaishankar tweeted.
He further wrote, "Glad to sign with Defence Minister, Mariya Didi the UTF Harbour Project agreement. Will strengthen Maldivian Coast Guard capability and facilitate regional HADR efforts. Partners in development, partners in security."
Jaishankar on a two-day visit to Maldives
As per reports, on Saturday, India and the Maldives signed five agreements, including one for a $25-million road construction credit line, as S Jaishankar handed over 100,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccines to the Indian Ocean archipelago nation.
As he began a two-day visit to review bilateral relations and development cooperation, Jaishankar held talks with Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid of the Maldives. Jaishankar also proposed a $40 million line of credit to finance the growth of sports facilities in the Maldives, one of the largest recipients of Indian neighbourhood assistance.
This is Jaishankar's second international visit this year. Last month, he visited Sri Lanka and will be travelling to Bangladesh in March to set the stage for a visit by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
India provided its neighbouring and main partner countries with Covid-19 vaccines last month. On January 20, a consignment containing 1 lakh of Covishield vaccine doses reached Male. With this, the Maldives, along with Bhutan, became the first recipient nations of the vaccine, produced by the Serum Institute of India.