Relevance : GS Paper II (International Relations)
[850 words reduced to 250]
- Recently, the President of the Maldives, visited India.
- Under Yameen a serious deterioration in ties with India occurred.
- Maldives under Solih
- Solih has assured a ‘India First’ policy.
- India enjoys a special place in his worldview of good governance.
- He called India Maldives’ “closest neighbour”.
- Solih’s visit reflects a fine balance between the interests of both countries.
- India’s – Maldives deals during Solih’s visit
- India has worked out a $1.4 billion assistance package.
- India has offered visa facilitation.
- India has offered support to the Maldives to rejoin IORA.
- Four agreements relating to IT, culture, agri, and visa have been signed.
- Maldives has assured to be fully sensitive to India’s security and strategic concerns.
- Both nations have agreed to be mindful of each other’s concerns
- They plan to enhance maritime security in the Indian Ocean Region.
- What India hopes to gain from the ‘ new’ Maldives?
- Indian Navy and Coast Guard will now be able to secure better cooperation from the Maldives
- Intelligence agencies hope to nurture better collaboration in combating terrorism
India Inc. hopes to increase its presence in the Maldivian market.
- The China factor
- China’s footprint in South Asia has increased in recent years.
- It is not feasible for India to supplant China in neighbouring countries.
- But India has its own advantages which it should leverage fully.
- A new grouping of India, the Maldives, Sri Lanka, Mauritius and the Seychelles looks attainable.
- After repairing ties with the Maldives, New Delhi should strengthen its Indian Ocean outreach.