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Defence Minister in Maldives on official visit

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Defence Minister A K Antony being greeted after his arrival at Male on Saturday. A Maldivian Defence Ministry photo

MALE (PTI): Defence Minister A K Antony has arrived at the Maldivian capital Male on a three-day visit during which he will lay the foundation stone of a military academy, and hold talks with his Maldives counterpart.

Antony arrived on Saturday evening at the Ibrahim Nasir International Airport where he was greeted by the Maldivian Defence Minister, Retired Colonel Mohamed Nazim, Minister of State for Defence, Mohamed Muizzu Adnan, and senior officials of the Maldivian National Defence Force (MNDF), besides the Indian High Commissioner to the Maldives, D M Mulay.

During his visit, Antony will call on Maldivian President Mohamed Waheed, and will hold official talks with his counterpart Nazim.

During the talks, both the Defence Ministers are expected to review ongoing defence exchanges and discuss ways to enhance military co-operation.

The visit comes at a time when China is increasing its influence in the country, which is of strategic importance to India.

Antony will participate in the inauguration of a military hospital and foundation stone laying ceremony of the training academy of the Maldivian National Defence Forces.

The Minister, who is in Maldives at the invitation of his counterpart, will on Sunday officially inaugurate the hospital, which has been established with assistance from the Indian government that has provided machines and other consumables.

Antony will also lay the foundation of the Compasite Training School at the island of Maafilaafushi of Lhaviyani Atoll on Sunday.

Both the projects are part of ongoing co-operation between the defence establishments of the two neighbouring countries.

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India  Maldives  Defence  
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