India, Maldives to hold Defence Minister level talks
New Delhi: India and Maldives are expected to discuss ways to strengthen their military ties during their Defence Minister-level talks starting here on Monday.
Maldivian Defence Minister Col Mohammed Nazim will be holding discussions with his Indian counterpart AK Antony during which the Indian side is expected to push for closer military ties between the two sides.
The Indian side is also expected to discuss the installation of more coastal radars in the island nation, Defence Ministry officials said here.
India is believed to have discussed the issue during the visit of Antony to Male last year in September.
This is the first visit by a senior Maldivian Minister to India after the recent political turbulence there due to a tussle between the Waheed Government and former President Mohammed Nasheed.
Nazim is also expected to meet Indian military leadership including the three Services chiefs, officials said.
Male is also seen to be moving towards China in the recent times as soon after Antony's visit, Nazim had gone to Beijing where the two sides decided to expand military cooperation.
During Antony's visit, India and Maldives had agreed to augment cooperation in defence and security to deal with common security threats.
He had inaugurated 'Senahiya', a military hospital built with Indian assistance there, and also decided to station a Defence Attache there besides training Maldivian helicopter pilots and defence personnel.
After the visit, the Indian Army and Maldivian forces had held a military exercise in India.