India and the Maldives on Friday agreed to hold the meeting of Joint Working Group on Counter-Terrorism, Countering Violent Extremism and Deradicalisation at an early date to strengthen cooperation required to combat the common threats arising from terrorism and radicalism. External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Maldivian Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid co-chaired the 6th Joint Commission Meeting (JCM) between India and the Maldives, earlier today. The next India-Maldives JCM will be held in the Maldives in 2021.
"Both the sides have agreed that Joint Working Group on Counter-Terrorism, Countering Violent Extremism and De-radicalisation will meet at an early date to strengthen cooperation required to combat the common threats arising from terrorism, radicalism, and drug trafficking in the region," said a joint statement after the meeting.
Comprehensive review of #IndiaMaldives relations with FM @abdulla_shahid at 6th JCM. Took stock of our achievements thus far and agreed to chart a purposeful way forward.— Dr. S. Jaishankar (@DrSJaishankar) December 13, 2019
Welcome the signing of MoUs on cooperation between our Election Commissions and Financial Intelligence Units pic.twitter.com/6UIV47m3q8
The statement stressed that both sides also reviewed the ongoing construction of police training facility in the Addu City of Maldives. India is building the facility to train Maldivian police in various fields including forensics.
The statement also highlighted that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih have met on four occasions in the past year "illustrating the highest importance both India and the Maldives attach to the bilateral relationship." Both sides also noted that India's 'Neighbourhood First' policy and Maldives' 'India First' policy were "working in tandem to further strengthen a dynamic, multifaceted, and mutually beneficial partnership that rests on the foundation of mutual trust, understanding, and sensitivity to each other's concerns."
India-Maldives defence cooperation includes key infrastructure projects such as the construction of the Ministry of Defence Building, Composite Training Centre (CTC) for the MNDF and the setting up of the Coastal Surveillance Radar System (CSRS), as well as training programmes for MNDF officials in India, joint exercises, medical camps, etc. "The Maldivian side acknowledged the usefulness of CGS Kaamiyaab gifted by the Government of India for the enhancement of its maritime security," read the statement.
The joint statement stressed on the need to improve connectivity, strengthening people-to-people contacts and said both sides agreed to work towards an early extension of the National Knowledge Network (NKN) to the Maldives to strengthen academic, research and commercial links between the two countries. The two sides also agreed to expedite work on the construction of a state-of-the-art Cancer hospital in Hulhumale. "The Maldivian side acknowledged the important role played by Indian nurses in its health sector and means to streamline the recruitment of nurses from India were discussed," the statement said while adding that the Indian side assured of its continued support to meet the requirements for trained personnel at the Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH).
(With ANI inputs)