India, Mozambique strengthen maritime defence co-operation

India and Mozambique on Monday signed two memoranda of understanding (MoUs) to further strengthen maritime defence co-operation between the two countries. The MoUs on sharing white shipping information and co-operation in the field of hydrography were signed after talks between Indian defence minister Rajnath Singh and Prime Minister of Mozambique Carlos Agostinho do Rosario.

The signing of the two MoUs will further strengthen the ongoing Indo-Mozambican defence co-operation.
Rajnath Singh is currently on an official visit to Maputo, Mozambique from 28 to 30 July 2019. This is Singh’s first visit abroad as defence minister and the first-ever visit of a defence minister of India to Mozambique.
Singh, who called on Carlos Agostinho do Rosario, the prime minister of Mozambique, also held delegation-level talks with his counterpart Atanasio Salvador M’tumuke. 
The visit symbolises the growing defence co-operation between Mozambique and India, and the potential such collaboration offers for enhancing security in the Indian Ocean Region.
Rajnath Singh also announced Indian assistance for communication equipment for Mazambique’s defence forces and highlighted the importance of working together to prevent non-traditional threats like smuggling, terrorism, piracy, poaching, etc and overall co-operation in the maritime domain.
Defence minister of Mozambique Atanasio Salvador M’tumuke briefed Rajnath Singh on the internal security situation and the ongoing Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration (DDR) process. Singh conveyed best wishes for the ongoing peace process.
The Indian defence minister discussed the entire spectrum of bilateral relations during meetings with Mozambican leaders and noted the excellent government-to-government ties, strong business exchanges, vibrant development partnership, and long-standing people-to-people links between the two countries.
Mozambique sought co-operation from India to deal with the growing menace of terrorism and radicalisation. Rajnath Singh assured co-operation and reiterated commitment to work together in this regard.
An elaborate ceremony was held at Mozambican Naval Headquarters to hand over two India-made Fast Interceptor Boats (FIBs) to Mozambique. The handing over certificate was signed by the Director General, Coast Guards of India and Chief of Mozambican Navy. A four-member ICGS team is also assisting with training and support for maintenance and operation of the two boats. Mozambican defence minister expressed gratitude for India’s support for Mozambican defence forces, in particular, for the boats being used for coastal surveillance.
India shares close, warm and friendly relations with Mozambique which is cemented by robust development partnership and a large presence of the Indian diaspora. The visit of RM is expected to further strengthen relations with Mozambique.