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Maldives, India sign MoUs during Dr Jaishankar's visit

21 February 2021, MVT 15:52
Minister of External Affairs Dr S.Subrahmanyam Jaishankar and Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdulla Shahid. PHOTO: NISHAN ALI/ MIHAARU
21 February 2021, MVT 15:52

Maldives signed several Memoranda of Understanding (MoU)s with the Indian government, on Saturday, during the ongoing official visit of Indian Minister of External Affairs Dr S.Subrahmanyam Jaishankar.

Notably, a Second Amendatory Dollar Credit Line Agreement was signed between the government and India's Export Import Bank (EXIM) to repurpose the balance from the USD 40 million Line of Credit finalised in 2011. Under the amendatory agreement, the unutilized amount of USD 25.64 million will be directed towards roads development projects across Maldives.

EXIM Bank also reached an agreement with Fahi Dhiriulhun Corporation to extend a credit facility under EXIM Bank's Buyer’s Credit scheme to finance the construction of 2000 social housing units in reclaimed suburb Hulhumale'.

The Ministry of Finance and India's EXIM Bank signed a USD 50 million dollar credit line agreement for defence projects.

With regard to defence, another agreement was finalised to develop, support and maintain a Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) Coast Guard harbour at Sifvaru.

The aforementioned agreement was signed following the Maldivian government's request in April 2013 for India's support and cooperation in enhancing the defence forces capability to exercise Maldivian jurisdiction and conduct maritime surveillance, as well as subsequent requests made in October 2015 and March 2016. The agreement was also reached in reference to the Action Plan for Defence Cooperation signed in April 2016 and subsequent discussions held during the Defence Cooperation Dialogues in July 2016 and January 2019.

Furthermore, an MoU was signed in order to establish a a small-scale fish processing plant in Kendhikulhudhoo, Noonu Atoll. This is the twelfth project to be financed under the High Impact Community Development Projects scheme.

Indian External Affairs Minister Dr Jaishankar also offered a USD 40 million line of credit for the development of sports infrastructure during a special event was also held at Ekuveni track.

Other MoUs signed during the visit include agreements on cooperation between Public Service Media (PSM) and India's Public Service Broadcaster Prasar Bharati, as well as between Maldives' Ministry of National Planning, Housing and Infrastructure and India's Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.

Both ministers agreed that these agreements would further strengthen exisiting bilateral cooperation between Maldives and India by expanding into new fields.

During his visit Dr Jaishankar also jointly inaugurated the Hulhumale' Central Park and Hulhumalé Westside Jetty with Foreign Minister Shahid. Both projects were completed under Indian grant assistance.

Moreover, the External Affairs Minister paid a courtesy call on President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and Parliament Speaker Mohamed Nasheed. He also held meetings with several cabinet ministers.

The Minister of External Affairs is visiting the Maldives on the invitation of the Minister of Foreign Affairs. His first visit to Maldives was to attend the fifth Indian Ocean Conference in September 2019.

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