As part of ''Mission Sagar'', INS Kesari, carrying 580 tons of food provisions for the people of Maldives entered Port of Male on Tuesday, Ministry of Defence said.
"As part of ''Mission Sagar'', INS Kesari entered Port of Male, Maldives on May 12. The Government of India is providing assistance to friendly foreign countries and towards this INS Kesari is carrying 580 tons of food provisions for the people of Maldives," Ministry of Defence said.
In view of the COVID-19 pandemic in the region and social distance norms, an online handing over ceremony was held today which was attended by Maldives Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid and Defence Minister Mariya Ahmed Didi.
The Indian side was represented by the High Commissioner of India to Maldives Sunjay Sudhir.
Mr Shahid appreciated the assistance provided by India. "India's gift of 580T of essential food items could not have been more opportune. In the face of #COVID19 ravaging world, Holy Month of Ramazan has befallen us in extraordinary circumstances this year. Today's donation is India's "Ramazan Gift" to the Maldives," the Foreign Minister tweeted.
"I wish to extend our profound appreciation to Prime Minister @narendramodi for his personal commitment and strong support to the Maldives; and to the External Affairs Minister @DrSJaishankar for always making the relationship with the Maldives, a particularly special one," he said.
Mr Shahid expressed hope that the ties between the two countries continue to grow stronger.
"United, we are stronger and together we shall tackle this pandemic, for the betterment of all humanity. May this bridge between our countries, connected by the waters of the Indian Ocean, continue to become stronger and stronger!" he said.
Maldives President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih also appreciated India's assistance.
"During the Covid19 crisis, India has been a true friend to the Maldives. India's recent gift of essential food supplies is particularly helpful during these challenging times. Our sincere thanks to PM @narendramodi and the people of India for their friendship and generosity," he said in a tweet.