US signs defence cooperation deal with Maldives

US signs defence cooperation deal with Maldives

US signs defence cooperation deal with Maldives

Written by Staff Writer

13 Sep, 2020 | 9:22 pm

COLOMBO (News1st): The US has signed a deal to strengthen defence and security cooperation with the Maldives on September 10.

The agreement sets forth the intention of both countries to deepen engagement and cooperation in maintaining peace and security in the Indian Ocean region, the US department of defence has said.

Several bilateral activities have been outlined under the framework, foreign media reported citing the Maldives Defence Ministry.

This includes senior-level dialogues, discussions, engagements, and opportunities in areas such as maritime domain awareness, natural disasters, and humanitarian relief operations.

The deal was signed by the Maldivian Defence Minister and the US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for South and South East Asia.

In 2007, the US inked a defence cooperation pact with Sri Lanka, under the name Acquisition and Cross Servicing Agreement (ACSA).

The agreement was renewed in 2017, with the contents of the 83-page document yet to be revealed to the public.

Under the agreement, both Sri Lanka and the US have to provide reciprocal logistic support to the military during combined exercises, training, deployments, operations, or other cooperative efforts.

The US had also undertaken moves to sign the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) with Sri Lanka. Reports have shown that this would allow US troops to enter the country with the use of their US identification.

Against such a backdrop, the US has also attempted to sign the Millenium Challenge Cooperation agreement with Sri Lanka.

This would see the US offering a grant of 480 million US dollars for several projects including land administration as well.

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