The Maldives and the US have held their inaugural Defense and Security dialogue.

Defense Minister Mariya Didi and Anthony Tata, performing the duties of US undersecretary of defense for policy, co-chaired the meeting held yesterday in Male'.

In the talks, both sides 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 US Department of Defense 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.

Maldivian Ministry of Defense said that it looks forward to increased engagement & training opportunities with U. S Armed Forces.

Officials from both countries pose for a photo after yesterday's meeting

Both sides affirmed the importance of the dialogue and look forward to holding the next Defense and Security Dialogue in 2022.