05 Aug 2022 Bilateral talks of Indian PM with President of Maldives
Posted at 09:31h in Daily current-affairs 0 Comments
- Recently the Prime Minister of India held bilateral talks with the President of Maldives.
- Highlighting the menace of international crime, terrorism, drug trafficking in the Indian Ocean, the Prime Minister said that coordination between India and Maldives in the field of defense and security is important for peace and stability.
- India will provide 24 vehicles and a naval boat to the Maldivian security force, as well as help train the island nation’s security personnel, to counter the threat of international crime, terrorism, drug trafficking in the Indian Ocean region.
- India will also cooperate in the construction of police facilities in 61 islands of Maldives.
Male Connectivity Project:
- The two leaders also welcomed the USD 500 million project financed by the Greater Male Connectivity Project, New Delhi.
- The two leaders participated in the virtual foundation stone ceremony of the US$ 500 million Greater Male Connectivity Project being built under grants and concessional line of credit from India.
- The two countries signed six agreements to expand cooperation in various areas of Maldives, including:
- Cyber security
- Developing capability
- Disaster management
- India announced financial assistance of US$ 100 million to help the island nation complete certain infrastructure projects.
- Recently, the National College for Policing and Law Enforcement (NCPLE) was inaugurated by the Indian External Affairs Minister during his two-day visit to Maldives.
- A contract worth US$ 80 million has been signed for the Addu Reclamation and Shore Protection Project.
- A ‘Drug Detoxification and Rehabilitation Center’ has been constructed in Addu with the help of India.
- The center is one of 20 high impact community development projects being implemented by India in sectors such as health, education, fisheries, tourism, sports and culture.
- Tourism is the mainstay of the economy of Maldives. At present Maldives is a major tourist destination for some Indians and many Indians go there for employment.
- In August 2021, an Indian company, Afcons, signed a contract for the largest ever infrastructure project in Maldives – the Greater Male Connectivity Project (GMCP).
- India is the second largest trading partner of Maldives.
- In the year 2021, bilateral trade registered a growth of 31% over the previous year, despite the pandemic challenges.
Challenges Existing in India-Maldives Relations:
- India’s major concern has been the impact of political instability in neighboring countries on its security and development.
- The arrest of Maldivian opposition leader Mohamed Nasheed on terrorism charges in February 2015 and the resulting political crisis has posed a real diplomatic test to India’s neighborhood policy.
- Over the past decade, Islamic State (IS) and Pakistan-backed terrorist groups have been seen to have increased influence in the Maldives.
- It raises the possibility of Pakistan-based terror groups using the Maldives islands as launch pads for terror attacks against India and Indian interests.
- China’s strategic intervention in India’s neighboring countries has increased in recent years. Maldives has emerged as an important component of China’s ‘String of Pearls’ strategy in South Asia.
- China’s strategic presence in Maldives is a matter of concern given the uncertainty in China-India relations.
- Apart from this, Maldives has started using ‘China Card’ for agreement with India.