Defence minister Rajnath Singh is scheduled to visit the Maldives from May 1 to 3 for discussions with the country's top officials, an official statement from the Ministry of Defence informed.

The statement noted, “In line with India’s commitment to capacity building of friendly countries and partners in the region, Singh will hand over one fast patrol vessel and a landing craft to the Maldives National Defence Forces."

The entire gamut of defence relations between the two countries will be reviewed during the deliberations, it said.

During his visit to the Maldives from May 1 to 3, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh is scheduled to have discussions with Maldives' Minister of Defence Mariya Ahmed Didi, Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdulla Shahid, and he will also meet the Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.

“The Raksha Mantri’s visit will be an important landmark in building the strong bonds of friendship between the two countries," the statement said, adding that India and the Maldives are working closely to address shared challenges, including maritime security, terrorism, radicalisation, piracy, trafficking, organised crime and natural disasters.

Singh will pay a visit to the ongoing project sites in the country and interact with the Indian diaspora.

The project to develop the Uthuru Thila Falhu base harbour under a bilateral agreement is currently underway, with the goal of establishing a center for maintaining vessels.

India provided a $50 million credit line to the Maldives in 2021 for defence projects and a pact was signed to build the Uthuru Thila Falhu harbour. As the Maldives does not have a navy, the coast guard operates as its maritime defence force, and India has provided patrol vessels and surveillance aircraft for this purpose.