India hands over patrol vessel to Maldives

New Delhi [India], Dec 4 (ANI): India on Wednesday handed over a patrol vessel to the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) during a video conference between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, which also saw the two leaders jointly inaugurating four key developmental projects in the archipelago covering a wide range of sectors.

The Patrol Vessel named "KAAMIYAAB" will be manned by 8 MNDF personnel trained in India and will be a valuable asset for the Maldives in enhancing its maritime security, fostering its blue economy and safeguarding its tourism industry.

During the event, the two countries exchanged Memoranda of Understanding for 3 grant projects for setting up neighbourhood fish plants in the southernmost atoll of Addu, the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement.

Mindful of the geographic spread of Maldives and the development needs of its people, these High Impact Community Development Projects (HICDPs) will be implemented by the Addu City Council in the Maldives.

These projects are being implemented under the MoU signed during former External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj's visit to the Maldives in 2019 and will help support livelihoods of the island communities in the Addu.

An MoU was exchanged between National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and the Bank of Maldives (BML) to launch the RuPay Card in the Maldives. In 2019, tourist arrivals from India to the Maldives have doubled and India has risen from 5th to the 2nd position in the tourism market of Maldives. The launch of the Global RuPay Card in the Maldives through the Bank of Maldives will pave the way for higher tourist arrivals from India and, eventually, stronger people-to-people contacts between the two countries.

At least 2,500 LED streetlights donated by India were installed in Male recently. These streetlights save 80% energy and will result in cost savings of approx. 8.35 lakh MVR per year for Male city. They will also add to the safety and security of the residents of Male particularly women and children.

Expressing his deep appreciation to India for its support to the development aspirations and security of Maldives, President Solih conveyed his commitment to deepening cooperation and partnership with India. Both leaders agreed to work closely together to enhance cooperation for peace, prosperity and mutual security of India and Maldives and for the wider Indian Ocean region. (ANI)