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Army chief apprises Maldives of threats in Indian Ocean region


New Delhi, Oct 2 (IANS) Army chief General Bipin Rawat met Maldives Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid highlighting threats in the Indian Ocean region, defence sources said on Wednesday.

Rawat is on a five-day visit to Maldives beginning September 29 in order to boost military ties with the archipelago nation given its strategic importance for India.

As per defence sources, Rawat and the Foreign Minister of Maldives Abdulla Shahid had detailed discussions on Tuesday to keep the Indian Ocean as a conflict-free region.

"Pleasure to meet Chairman of Chiefs of Staff Committee and #COAS of India Gen Bipin Rawat today. India plays a vital role in capacity building for Maldivian armed forces and is a close partner in keeping the Indian Ocean a conflict-free region," Shahid tweeted.

A Maldivian local English newspaper reported that during the meeting, which was held at the foreign ministry office, General Rawat discussed the importance of taking into account the evolving nature of threats in and the "multi-faceted nature of the Maldives-India relationship".

As per the newspaper report, Rawat further highlighted the contributions made by the Indian Armed forces to train and strengthen the capacity of Maldivian security forces.

On Monday, General Rawat also handed over a fleet of transport vehicles and equipment to the Maldives National Defence Force in order to strengthen its operational capability.

Rawat is also scheduled to meet the Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih during the course of his five-day visit.


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