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JCM further refines Maldives-India ties, 2 MoUs signed

Shahudha Mohamed
13 December 2019, MVT 18:13
Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdulla Shahid (C) and Indian Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale (C-L) during a meeting in Delhi, India, prior to the Joint Commission Meeting. PHOTO: MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
Shahudha Mohamed
13 December 2019, MVT 18:13

Two MoUs were signed between the Financial Intelligence Units and the Elections Commissions of India and Maldives at the Joint Commission Meeting (JCM) held on Friday.

Headed by Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdulla Shahid and India's Minister of External Affairs Dr S. Jaishankar, the sixth meeting of the Maldives-India Joint Commission was held at the Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi, India.

During the meeting both ministers highlighted the renewed cooperation in various issues such as security and defense cooperation, trade, economic cooperation, tourism, energy, agriculture, Blue Economy and development cooperation.

Moreover, connectivity, communication, ICT, health, human resource development, education, culture, sports, youth affairs, consular and community issues, cooperation between Foreign Ministries and cooperation in multilateral fora were also mentioned amongst areas of bilateral cooperation.

Top-officials from 14 government ministries represented Maldives at the Joint Commission Meeting (JCM) and held discussions with their counterparts in determining how to move forward with several bilateral projects.

During the meeting, both parties highlighted the benefits derived from the collaboration of India and Maldives in tackling mutual issues.

Discussions revolving around the military focused heavily on key projects such as the construction of the Composite Training Centre (CTC) for Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF), setting up the coastal Surveillance Radar System (CSRS) and conducting training programmes, joint exercises and medical camps for MNDF officials in India.

Maldives acknowledged the usefulness of CGS Kaamiyaabu, recently gifted by the Indian government for Maldives to enhance maritime security. Both countries agreed on working together to tackle common threats arising from terrorism, radicalisation and drug trafficking in the region.

Both sides discussed the benefits, progress and implementations of initiatives such as the introduction of the RuPay mechanism, MoUs on Hydrography and White Shipping, the USD 1.4 billion economic package announced by India in December 2018, projects being implemented under the USD 800 million Line of Credit, the USD 5.6 million High Impact Community Development Projects (HICDPs) and the USD 6.9 million grant assistance projects.

An agreement was reached that these projects will be closely monitored to achieve quick implementation through transparent processes.

In addition to discussing ways of cooperating in the fields of communication, sports and health, the two sides also agreed to expedite beginning the construction of a state-of-the-art Cancer Hospital in reclaimed suburb Hulhumale'.

Furthermore, it was revealed that an Indian technical team is already in Male' for the conservation and restoration of the Friday Mosque, which was identified as a priority at the JCM.

The meeting concluded after announcing that the next session of the Joint Commission would be convened in 2021 in Maldives.

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