WASHINGTON -- Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Colin Kahl spoke by phone today with Maldivian Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid. Under Secretary Kahl and Minister Shahid expressed their commitment to further strengthening the U.S.-Maldives bilateral partnership and expanding its role in advancing shared interests in the Indo-Pacific, including support for a rules-based international order and countering the threat of violent extremism.
Under Secretary Kahl offered his sympathies for the recent COVID surge in the Maldives and emphasized the U.S. commitment to helping the Maldives respond to the pandemic, including through new COVAX vaccine deliveries. Under Secretary Kahl and Minister Shahid committed to furthering bilateral security cooperation through the 2020 Defense and Security Relationship Framework, including a focus on exercises and logistics cooperation.
Both hailed the achievements of the first bilateral Defense and Security Dialogue in January 2021, and Under Secretary Kahl noted that DoD looked forward to hosting the next Dialogue in 2022.