The Maldives, the atoll island country south of the top of India, has signed a defense pact with the United States.
Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for South and Southeast Asia Reed Werner and Maldivian Minister of Defense Mariya Didi signed the “Framework for U.S. Department of Defense-Maldives Ministry of Defence Defense and Security Relationship” in Philadelphia on Sept. 10, 2020.
The Framework sets forth both countries’ intent to deepen engagement and cooperation in support of maintaining peace and security in the Indian Ocean, and marks an important step forward in the defense partnership, DOD said in a press release.
Werner and Didi also discussed U.S. support for the Maldives’ response to COVID-19 and areas for future cooperation, and agreed to work toward scheduling the first Defense and Security Dialogue.
Both sides reiterated their commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific that promotes the security and prosperity of all nations in the region.
The Trump administration’s emphasis on the Indo-Pacific alliance is a strategic move to counter China’s rise in the region.