India-Maldives Relation- A Bumpy Ride!!!
(GS Paper II, International Relations)
(Source- The Indian Express)
- India and Maldives signed a pact to develop, support and maintain a Maldives “National Defence Force Coast Guard Harbour” for maritime security in the region during the visit of India’s External Affairs Minister S.Jaishankar to the Maldives.
Highlights of the pact:
- The dockyard will be developed at the Uthuru Thila Falhu Naval Base by India.
- This pact was a part of a defence action plan signed in 2016 during the visit of Maldives President Abdulla Yameen to India.
- India will develop communication resources and radar services and will also provide training to the concerned authority.
- Project Execution contract for construction of a road in the Maldives second largest populated city, Addu, was also signed.
Significance of the pact:
- This pact will serve the strategic interest of both countries and will ensure maritime safety in the Indian Ocean Region.
- It will create a strategic alliance that will counter the Chinese growing influence in the Indian Ocean Region.
- It will establish India’s credibility and influence in the Indian Ocean region.
- It will facilitate HADR (Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief) efforts.
- It will strengthen the Maldives defence capabilities.
- In 2013, the Government of Maldives requested India for support and cooperation in enhancing the capabilities of the Maldives Defence Forces in Maritime surveillance.
- The Maldives requested India subsequently in 2015 and 2016 for this development.