|Antony to Go on a Three-Day Visit to Maldives this Week-End|
|The Defence Minister Shri AK Antony will be going on a three-day official visit to Maldives beginning this Saturday. The visit is being undertaken at the invitation of the Maldivian Defence Minister. Shri Antony will be accompanied by a high level delegation, comprising the Defence Secretary Shri Shashi Kant Sharma, Flag Officer Commanding in Chief Western Naval Command Vice Admiral Shekhar Sinha, DGMT Lt. Gen SP Tanwar and DGAFMS Air Marshal DP Joshi.|
During his visit to Maldives, Shri Antony will meet his counterpart Col (Retd) Mohamed Nazim. Both Defence Ministers will participate in the inauguration of the Maldivian Military Hospital and in the foundation stone laying ceremony of the training academy of the Maldivian National Defence Forces. Both projects are part of ongoing cooperation between the defence establishments of the two countries. Shri Antony is also expected to call on President Dr. Mohamed Waheed Hassan Manik while in Maldives.
Shri Antony had last visited Maldives in August, 2009, with a high level delegation. This was followed by high level visits from Maldives, including by the Maldivian Defence Minister and high ranking officers of the Maldivian National Defence Forces. There have been regular exchanges and interactions between the Armed Forces of both sides, including conduct of joint exercises and training programmes. Both countries have also been cooperating for regular EEZ surveillance. Both Defence Ministers are expected to review ongoing defence exchanges and discuss ways to enhance cooperation in the defence sector.