In­dia keen on peace in the In­dian Ocean Re­gion: Pres­i­dent

SP's MAI - - MILITARY -

The Pres­i­dent of In­dia, Pranab Mukher­jee, held dis­cus­sions with Ab­dulla Yameen Ab­dul Gay­oom, the Pres­i­dent of Mal­dives, and hosted a ban­quet in his hon­our re­cently at Rash­tra­p­ati Bha­van.

Wel­com­ing Pres­i­dent Gay­oom, the Pres­i­dent said in com­ing to In­dia on his first state visit abroad, the Pres­i­dent of the Mal­dives has re­flected the pri­or­ity at­tached to the bi­lat­eral re­la­tion­ship with In­dia and the same is fully re­cip­ro­cated.

The Pres­i­dent said re­cent Pres­i­den­tial elec­tions and the smooth tran­si­tion of power in Mal­dives is tes­ti­mony to the strength­en­ing of democ­racy in Mal­dives. In­dia ap­pre­ci­ates the ef­forts of the po­lit­i­cal lead­er­ship in the Mal­dives in en­sur­ing a free and fair elec­toral process and a con­struc­tive out­come.

The Pres­i­dent said among the ar­eas of close co­op­er­a­tion be­tween In­dia and Mal­dives is our ex­cel­lent de­fence and se­cu­rity re­la­tion­ship. In­dia, like Mal­dives, would like to see un­in­ter­rupted peace and se­cu­rity pre­vail in the In­dian Ocean re­gion. Both coun­tries have had to ad­dress the chal­lenges of piracy, smug­gling, ex­trem­ism and re­li­gious fun­da­men­tal­ism. In­dia re­mains fully cog­nizant of the needs of Mal­dives in deal­ing with these is­sues and is com­mit­ted to as­sist in achiev­ing the de­fence and se­cu­rity ob­jec­tives of the Govern­ment of Mal­dives.

The Pres­i­dent said In­dia wishes to work with Mal­dives and other like-minded na­tions to en­sure peace in the In­dian Ocean re­gion. In­dia and Mal­dives are nat­u­ral part­ners in this en­ter­prise. At a re­gional level, the two coun­tries can do much more to en­hance co­op­er­a­tion among the States to achieve bet­ter mar­itime do­main aware­ness and in­crease co­or­di­na­tion and sur­veil­lance by them. In­dia has al­ways been happy to ex­tend sup­port and as­sis­tance, as and when re­quired, to Mal­dives. In­dia shall be happy to con­tinue to do so in the years to come. In­dia would like to see Mal­dives con­tinue to be sta­ble, peace­ful and pros­per­ous, fulfilling the as­pi­ra­tions of its cit­i­zens.

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