New Delhi [India]28th February (ANI): Chief of Defense Staff (CDS), General Anil Chauhan, today interacted with Maldives Defense Force Commander-in-Chief, Maj. Gen. Abdulla Shamaal, to discuss issues of mutual concern, regional and maritime security issues, and further strengthen the relationship between the two countries. The two countries have an already robust mutual defense cooperation.
Headquarters (HQ) Integrated Defense Staff (IDS) confirmed the talks between General Chauhan and Major General Shamaal on its official Twitter.
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“General Anil Chauhan, #CDS and Major General Abdulla Shamaal, Commander of the #Maldives Defense Forces, interacted by phone today to discuss mutual interests, regional and maritime security issues and further strengthen the already strong mutual defense cooperation,” the IDS headquarters tweeted
Earlier, on 23 February, Maldives Finance Minister Ibrahim Ameer had praised India’s assistance for development projects in the Maldives. Speaking at the opening of the Asian Economic Dialogue 2023 in Pune, he said India aid development projects in the Maldives are aimed at future growth.
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“I think it’s very important that the development projects that we do with India’s assistance are primarily geared toward future growth,” he added.
Ameer said the development projects include the Greater Male Connectivity Project which will transform the economy of the Maldives. The Maldives is also building two airports, one in the north and one in the south, he said.
Ameer noted that Hanimaadhoo International Airport handles between 18,000 and 2.1 million tourists a year. The Nangan International Airport, developed with the help of a credit line from the Export-Import Bank of China, will have a capacity of 1.8 million passengers, he said.
“Right now we are a $6 billion economy. But when we build these international airports in the north and south in a few years, let’s say 5-10 years, we’re not looking at a $6 billion economy. I believe we’re looking at, let’s say, a $1.5-20 billion economy, and we have very important infrastructure, sanitation projects,” Amir said.
Before Foreign Minister Jaishankar Jaishankar’s visit to the Maldives and Sri Lanka in January this year, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MEA) also stated in a statement that “Maldives and Sri Lanka are important maritime neighbors of India in the Indian Ocean region. security and growth) and a vision of ‘neighborhood first’.” (Arney)
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