Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Maldivian President IbrahimMohamed Solih jointly inaugurated the coastal surveillance radar system builtby India and a composite training facility of the Maldives National DefenceForce.
The inauguration assumes significance as China views theMaldives as key to its Maritime Silk Road project in the Indian Ocean as it hasalready acquired Hambantota port in Sri Lanka and Djibouti in the Horn ofAfrica.
The Costal Surveillance Radar is the primary sensor forIntegrated Costal Surveillance System. The Coastal Surveillance Radar Systems(CSRS) programme contributes in creating a network of information to maritimedomain awareness in the strategic Indian Ocean region.
According to defence officials, India has an older versionof these radars in Seychelles, Mauritious and Sri Lanka.
The two leaders also jointly inaugurated the compositetraining facility of the Maldives National Defence Force in Maafilafushi onSaturday.
Modi arrived in the Indian Ocean archipelago on Saturday onhis first foreign visit after re-election as Prime Minister to strengthen thebilateral ties, reflecting the importance India attaches to its 'NeighbourhoodFirst' policy.
The joint inauguration came as the two countries signed sixagreements.
The two sides have also signed a technical agreement onsharing white shipping information between the Indian Navy and the MaldivesNational Defence Force.
The relations between India and the Maldives deterioratedafter the then President Abdulla Yameen imposed emergency on February 5 lastyear.
Some decisions by Yameen including imposition ofrestrictions on work visas for Indians and signing of a new Free TradeAgreement with Beijing also did not go down well with New Delhi.
However, ties were back on track under Solih's presidency.