- In August 2022, the president of Maldives, Ibrahim Solih visited India. During the visit, he mentioned that the Maldives will always maintain the “India First” policy.
India – Maldives relations:
- India and Maldives are neighbours. Since the Maldives gained independence from the British in 1965, India and Maldives have been maintaining good relations.
- India helped the Maldives in several crisis situations such as the 1988 coup attempt, the 2004 tsunami, the 2014 water crisis, and recently during the Covid pandemic.
- The food security of Maldives is achieved through imports from India.
- India is investing in infrastructure projects in the Maldives.
- Both the countries are helping each other in fighting against drug trafficking and terrorism.
- The economy of Maldives is heavily dependent on fisheries and tourism. As India and Maldives share friendly relations, Maldives has been one of the main tourist attractions for Indian tourists.
- But disturbances in the bilateral relations between India and the Maldives came when China-leaning Abdulla Yameen became president of the Maldives in 2013.
- In 2018, Ibrahim Solih became president of the Maldives and the bilateral relations are back to normal again.
- In 2020, The former president of the Maldives, Abdulla Yameen started the China-backed ‘India Out’ campaign in the country based on misinformation and false propaganda, which is aimed at disrupting the bilateral relations. The ruling party and other major parties of the Maldives opposed this campaign. In April 2022, Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih banned the campaign.
- During the visit to India in August 2022, Ibrahim Solih, the president of the Maldives signed six key deals with India to strengthen cooperation in capacity building, cyber security, housing, disaster management and infrastructure development. These agreements helps in strengthening the mutually beneficial relationship between the Maldives and India. During this visit, the Maldives president mentioned that the Maldives will always maintain the “India First” policy.
India and the Maldives have been maintaining good relations since the Maldives gained independence from the British. Even though a few disturbances came during Abdulla Yameen’s term, now both countries have a mutually beneficial relationship. The recent agreements between India and the Maldives will further strengthen the bilateral relations.
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Photo by Ketut Subiyanto
- ‘Maldivulatho snehabandam’ editorial in Eenadu newspaper dated 6th August 2022.
- India, Maldives ink six agreements to broad-base ties in key areas
- India’s challenges in Maldives
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