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Rajnath Singh initiates construction of Coast Guard establishment in Maldives

Coast Guard facility in Maldives Foundation laid by Rajnath Singh

The Defence Minister of India, Rajnath Singh, and his Maldivian counterpart, Mariya Didi, initiated the construction of a harbour at Sifavaru for the coast guard of Maldives. This move is aimed at enhancing the country’s maritime security capabilities, especially as China is increasing its presence in the Indian Ocean Region by sending more warships and undertaking projects in the region.

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Coast Guard facility in Maldives: Key Points

  • The two countries had signed a pact for the development of this coast guard facility in 2021, and India had extended a $50 million line of credit to the Maldives for defence projects.
  • According to a joint communique issued on the last day of Singh’s visit to the Maldives, the development of the coast guard Ekatha harbour and repair facility at Sifavaru is one of India’s most significant grant-in-aid projects.
  • The ministers also discussed exploring more avenues for cooperation, including defence trade, capacity building, and joint exercises.
  • They emphasized the importance of promoting people-to-people contacts and exchanges between the armed forces of both countries.

Use of Coast Guard facility in Maldives

  • The coast guard facility will stop the Maldives from sending its ships abroad for maintenance.
  • The coast guard functions as the armed maritime unit of the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF), which has received patrol vessels and surveillance aircraft from India because the Maldives does not have a navy.
  • India’s maritime diplomacy in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) focuses on capacity building, capability enhancement, and collaborative efforts, with a focus on cooperation and partnership rather than competition and power games.
  • China’s “debt-trap diplomacy” has led countries like Sri Lanka and Pakistan to hand over strategic territories to China due to mounting debts.
  • In 1988, the Indian Air Force airlifted Indian Army troops to the Maldives to help stop a coup attempt by mercenaries.

Rajnath Singh delivered a fast patrol vessel and a landing craft assault to the MNDF, describing the two indigenous vessels as a symbol of the shared commitment of the two countries towards peace and security in the IOR. The fast patrol vessel, known as MNDF Coast Guard ship Huravee, is capable of coastal and offshore surveillance at high speeds.

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Important Takeaways For All Competitive Exams

  • Defence Minister of India: Rajnath Singh
  • Defence Minister of Maldives: Mariya Didi
  • Capital of Maldives: Malé
  • Currency of Maldives: Maldivian rufiyaa

Also Read: India’s First female Rafale pilot, Shivangi Singh part of exercise in France

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