With eye on China, US indicators defence cope with Maldives

Washington, September 12

The US has signed a framework for defence cooperation with the Maldives to deepen engagement in help of sustaining peace and safety within the strategic Indian Ocean, the Pentagon has introduced, because the Trump administration appears to be like for strengthening alliances within the Indo-Pacific to counter China’s rising presence within the area.

The framework for defence and safety relationship was signed in Philadelphia on September 10 between Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defence for South and Southeast Asia Reed Werner and Maldivian Minister of Defence Mariya Didi.

“The framework sets forth both countries’ intent to deepen engagement and cooperation in support of maintaining peace and security in the Indian Ocean, and marks an important step forward in the defence partnership,” the Pentagon stated.

The Indo-Pacific is a bio-geographic area of Earth’s seas, comprising the tropical waters of the Indian Ocean, the western and central Pacific Ocean.

During discussions after signing the settlement, Mariya stated the framework would strengthen defence and safety cooperation between the 2 international locations, Maldivian portal Sun Online reported.

Mariya stated peace and safety within the Indo-Pacific and Indian Ocean area was tied to the perfect pursuits of each international locations. She pressured the significance of bilateral dialogue and engagement, towards a backdrop of rising transnational threats reminiscent of piracy, violent extremism, terrorism, and illicit commerce, which she stated remained related, even amidst the Covid-19.

According to an announcement launched by the Defence Ministry, the framework outlines various bilateral actions, together with senior-level dialogues, discussions, engagements, and alternatives in areas reminiscent of maritime area consciousness, pure disasters, and humanitarian aid operations, the report stated.

Werner and Didi mentioned US help for the island nation in its response to Covid and areas for future cooperation and agreed to work towards scheduling the primary defence and safety dialogue, the Pentagon stated. — PTI

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