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New Delhi, May 13, 2020
As part of "Mission Sagar", Indian Naval Ship Kesari has entered the port of Male in the Maldives carrying 580 tonnes of food provisions for the people of the island-nation.
In view of the COVID-19 pandemic in the region and social distancing norms, an online handing over ceremony was held yesterday.
The ceremony was attended by Maldives Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid and Defence Minister Mariya Ahmed Didi. The Indian side was represented by the High Commissioner Sunjay Sudhir. Maldives Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid has appreciated the assistance provided by India.
The deployment of the ship is in consonance with the Prime Minister’s vision of Security and Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR) and "neighbourhood first" policy, in both of which the Maldives figures prominently.
The mission is being carried out in close coordination between the Ministries of Defence and External Affairs, and other agencies of the Union Government.
Mission Sagar follows close on the heels of Operation Samudra Setu, which is aimed at repatriation of Indian citizens from overseas including the Maldives. A total of 900 Indian nationals were repatriated by INS Jalashwa and INS Magar on May 8 and 10, respectively.
India and Maldives are close maritime neighbours with strong and extremely cordial defence and diplomatic relations.