Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President of Maldives Ibrahim Mohamed Solih held one on one, restricted and delegation level talks in New Delhi recently.
Outcome of recent meeting:
The six pacts inked between the two sides will facilitate cooperation in capacity building, cyber security, housing, disaster management and infrastructure development in the Maldives.
India also announced $ 100 Mn new Line of Credit to finance infrastructure projects in Maldives.
Both leaders also virtually launched the first pouring of concrete for the Greater Male Connectivity Project, being built with an Indian grant of $100 million and a soft loan of $400 million.
Cyber Security: The Maldives signed a cyber-security agreement with India as both sides affirmed their will to strengthen ties to take on “transnational crimes and terrorism” in the Indian Ocean region.
India-Maldives partnership is not only working in the interest of citizens of both countries, but it is also becoming a source of peace and stability for the entire region.
Surveillance: The Indian side announced it will provide a landing craft assault (LCA) to the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF), and another warship to replace CGS Huravee, which itself is a naval patrol vessel gifted by India in 2006. India will also provide 24 utility vehicles to MNDF.
India and Maldives share ethnic, cultural, linguistic, and commercial
India was amongst the first to recognize Maldives after its independence in 1965 and later established its mission at Male in 1972.
Maldives’ proximity to the west coast of India and its situation at the hub of commercial sea-lanes running through the Indian Ocean, and its potential to allow a third nation’s naval presence in the area imbues it with significant strategic importance to India.
India has a pre-eminent position in the Maldives, with relations extending to virtually most areas.
India’s policy of ‘Neighbourhood First’ and Maldives’ policy of ‘India First’ seem to be in absolute sync with each other.
Presently, India is engaged in developing 45 infrastructure development projects in Maldives.
In 2020, India decided to support the implementation of Greater Malé Connectivity Project in Maldives.
In April 2021, both sides held their first meeting of the Joint Working Group on counterterrorism, countering violent extremism and de-radicalisation.
An archipelago of 1,192 coral island, Maldives is located in the Indian Ocean, 400km south-west of India.
None of the coral islands stand more than 1.8 metres (six feet) above sea level, making the country vulnerable to any rise in sea levels associated with global warming.
This republic nation has a population of around 540,000 people dispersed across 185 islands.
Tourism is Maldives’ largest economic activity and accounts for around 70 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP)