Antony winds up Maldives visit,meets Waheed

Winding up a three-day visit to the island nation,Defence Minister A K Antony called on Maldivian President Mohamed Waheed in Male

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published: September 18, 2012 4:23 am

Winding up a three-day visit to the island nation,Defence Minister A K Antony called on Maldivian President Mohamed Waheed in Male on Monday morning before returning to New Delhi after announcing a slew of measures to increase bilateral defence cooperation.

Defence Ministry officials said President Waheed appreciated Antony’s visit to the nation — the first by a senior Indian leader since the change of power earlier this year — and said that it has “increased the confidence level in the relations of the two countries”.

“The President also appreciated India’s support in facilitating a way forward in the political process in Maldives,” the Defence Ministry spokesperson said,adding that Waheed described India as a “close and trusted friend”.

President Waheed also said the security of the Indian Ocean Region is of “vital importance to both the countries” that should strive to “enhance cooperation in myriad ways to thwart any threats”.

The meeting was attended by Vice President Mohamed Waheeduddeen,Defence Minister Col (Retd) Mohamed Nazim. The Indian side included,among others,Defence Secretary Shashi Kant Sharma.

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