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Relations With India Stronger Than Ever, Says Maldives Defence Minister – dot newz

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In February, India signed a USD 50 million defence Line of Credit agreement with Maldives. File

New Delhi:

The relationship between the Maldives and India today is “stronger than ever” and New Delhi has been the first and best responder to Malé in all times of need, the island nation’s Defence Minister Mariya Didi has said.

In a recorded video message played during a defence conclave here today, Ms Didi also appreciated India’s support to the Maldives in all areas of development.

“Today, the relationship between the Maldives and India is stronger than ever. It’s not anchored by our shared values, history and perspectives alone. India is and has been our first and best responder in all times of need,” she said.

From extending help after the 2004 tsunami disaster to recently assisting in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, India’s helping hand was “the most immediate and visible”, she added.

In September last year, India provided financial assistance of USD 250 million to the Maldives to help it mitigate the economic impact of the pandemic.

Later, the Maldives thanked India for what it said was the “single-largest financial assistance from a donor during this pandemic”.

“On behalf of the President and the people of the Maldives, I express my deepest appreciation to the government and people of India for the long-standing tradition of assistance and support extended in all areas of our nation”s development,” Ms Didi said.

In February this year, India had reaffirmed its commitment to the Maldives’ security and signed a USD 50 million defence Line of Credit agreement with the strategically vital Indian Ocean island nation to boost its maritime capabilities.

“We wish India all the best in its efforts to build an ‘Atmanirbhar India’, a beacon of self-reliance and a hinge of stability in our neighbourhood and beyond,” Ms Didi said.

The defence conclave was held at the Constitution Club of India here and attended by various defence experts and military attaches of various foreign countries, among others.

Defence Secretary of Sri Lanka Gen (retd) Kamal Gunaratne also sent a video message for the event, while Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar joined via a video link from Bengaluru.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)



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India Is No.1 Food Supplier To Arab Nations After 15 Years – dot newz

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The Arab world is among Brazil’s most important trade partners.

Sao Paulo:

India surpassed Brazil in food exports to the League of Arab States for the first time in 15 years as the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted trade flows in 2020, according to data provided by the Arab-Brazil Chamber of Commerce to Reuters on Tuesday.

The Arab world is among Brazil’s most important trade partners, but its distance from those markets took its toll as the pandemic rattled global logistics.

Brazil accounted for 8.15% of the total agribusiness products imported by the 22 League members last year, whereas India captured 8.25% of that trade, ending Brazil’s 15-year advantage, the data showed.

Despite remaining competitive “from the farm gate in,” Brazil lost ground to India and other exporters such as Turkey, the United States, France and Argentina amid a disruption of traditional shipping routes.

Brazilian shipments to Saudi Arabia that once took 30 days could now take up to 60 days, according to the Chamber, whereas India’s geographic advantages allow it to ship fruits, vegetables, sugar, grains and meat in as little as week.

Brazil’s agricultural exports to the Arab League rose just 1.4% by value to $8.17 billion last year. Between January and October this year, sales totaled $6.78 billion, up 5.5%, as logistics problems subsided, Chamber data showed.

China’s push to boost its own food inventories during the pandemic also diverted some of Brazil’s trade with the Arabs, leading countries such as Saudi Arabia to step up promotion of domestic food production, while seeking alternative suppliers.

“It’s a turning point. The Saudis are still big buyers, but they are also net re-exporters of food,” the Chamber said in a statement.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)



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“BJP Development? Coconut Breaks A Road Open!” Akhilesh Yadav Sneers – dot newz

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Lucknow:

Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, ally Jayant Choudhary at his side, berated Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and the BJP on multiple issues today — including development, which the ruling party placed front and centre of the coming election. “What infrastructure has the BJP created,” he questioned, citing a recent headline from Bijnore that has raised many a chuckle in the state.

“The older tradition was — hit the coconut on the road and the coconut breaks. The new tradition they have started is hit the coconut on ground and the ground must break,” he told NDTV, speaking on the sidelines of a rally in Mathura attended by thousands.

Suchi Mausam Chaudhary, the BJP MLA from Bijnor Sadar, was left furious earlier this month at the traditional inauguration when bits of a 7-km road, renovated at a cost of Rs 1.16 crore, came off when struck by a coconut.

Challengers to the BJP government which came to power in the state with a sweeping mandate, the two leaders made a prediction. “Looking at anger among the people, BJP can even lose 400 seats. They will be wiped out in the western UP,” Akhilesh Yadav said.

Their sharpest barbs were reserved for Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.

In his address, Mr Yadav had spoken of the BJP “misrule” in terms of jobs, education development and farmers’ issues. Asked about his remark that the “Baba (Yogi Adityanath) just sits in Gorakhpur and rings a bell (while all this is happennig),” and how it would be received by the state’s Hindu voters, Rashtriya Lok Dal chief Jayant Chaudhary spoke up.

“Adityanath is not a symbol of Hindu unity, he can be questioned,” Mr Chaudhary said. “This is not an issue about Hindu pride but issues like unemployment. Adityanath said he will give 70 lakh jobs. Today, their own posters say they have given only four lakh jobs,” he added.

Akhilesh Yadav had other questions. “The Chief Minister should answer whether the man sitting in the jeep that mowed down farmers (in Lakhimpur Kheri) was the Union Home Minister’s son or not… Yogi must answer how many cases were against him that he removed himself after becoming the Chief Minister,” he added.



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Women’s Commission Seeks Report On BJP Leader’s Remark About Mumbai Mayor – dot newz

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Kishori Pednekar is the current Mayor of Mumbai. (File)

The Maharashtra State Commission for Women has asked the Mumbai police commissioner to submit a factual report about an alleged objectionable remark passed by BJP leader Ashish Shelar about mayor Kishori Pednekar in connection with the recent cylinder blast in Worli.

Taking to Twitter, the Commission’s chairperson Rupali Chakankar said “insulting” comments made about women by responsible public representatives “will not be tolerated”.

The Commission has, therefore, taken a “serious” note of the comment and asked the Mumbai police chief to submit a factual report in this connection, Ms Chakankar tweeted on Monday night.

In her letter to the police commissioner, Ms Chakankar claimed, “Shelar’s comment ”the Mumbai Mayor visited (those injured in the blast) after 72 hours of the incident, where were you (the mayor) sleeping for these many hours?” is being broadcast in the news media”.

“So, a factual report should be submitted in this connection as per section 12(2) and 12(3) of the Maharashtra State Commission for Women Act, 1993,” she said.

Three members of a family died after a gas cylinder exploded in their home in a chawl in Worli area of central Mumbai.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)



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