WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Department of Defense and the Ministry of Defense of the Maldives held their inaugural Defense and Security Dialogue January 5 in Male, Maldives. Mr. Anthony Tata, performing the duties of under secretary of defense for policy, co-chaired the meeting alongside Maldivian Minster of Defense Mariya Didi.
The DoD and the Maldivian MoD agreed on concrete steps to operationalize the Security and Defense Relationship Framework signed in September 2020, with a focus on four areas: exercises, logistics, information sharing and professional military education. Both sides reaffirmed their shared commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific region and agreed on activities in 2021 that will advance shared priorities such as maritime security, counterterrorism, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.
The DoD commended the Maldives’ success in rapidly mobilizing and responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, and both sides agreed to evaluate further cooperation opportunities in the area of COVID-19 vaccine distribution.
The DoD and Maldivian MoD affirmed the importance of the dialogue and look forward to holding the next Defense and Security Dialogue in 2022.