Connect with us


Indian Army Sets Foot in Maldives as India Bails-Out Male with $1.4 Billion Package



India and Maldives seem to be finally getting back on track and completing sidelining China. Indian Army and the Maldives National Defence Force started a 14-day join military training programme in the Maldives on Saturday. This development is amid the backdrop of India granting $1.4 Billion in aid to thwart Chinese attempts to debt-trap the nation.

India Extends $1.4 Billion Assistance to the Maldives

Indian PM Narendra Modi announced $1.4 billion financial assistance to the Maldives after he held extensive talks with President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih during which both sides vowed to deepen security cooperation in the Indian Ocean region.

The two countries also inked four pacts, including one on visa facilitation.  “We held successful talks in a cordial atmosphere. We vowed to strengthen ties,” Modi said in his press statement, with Solih by his side. 

He also said the security interests of the two countries were intertwined and both sides will work together to further strengthen cooperation in the Indian Ocean region.  “We will not allow our countries to be used for activities which can be harmful to each other’s interests,” Modi asserted.

The prime minister said India is extending USD 1.4 billion as budget support, currency swap and line of credit for the social and economic development of Maldives.  “We want greater trade ties with the Maldives. There are increasing opportunities for Indian companies in the island nation,” he said.

On his part, Solih said the two sides agreed to strengthen maritime security cooperation in the Indian Ocean region through coordinated patrol and aerial surveillance.

Solih arrived here Sunday on a three-day state visit, his first foreign trip after assuming the charge of the top office in the island nation a month ago.  Modi had attended Solih’s swearing-in ceremony on November 17.

Earlier, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj called on Solih and discussed bilateral and regional issues of mutual interests.  Relations between India and the Maldives deteriorated after then-president Abdulla Yameen imposed emergency on February 5 this year. India had criticised his decision and asked his government to restore the credibility of the electoral and political process by releasing political prisoners. The emergency lasted for 45 days.

India-Maldives Joint Training Program

The training contingents comprised a platoon from the Madras Regiment from Konark Corps and a similar strength of the Maldivian National Defence Force. Senior military observers and dignitaries of both the countries will be witnessing the validation phase of the exercise.

Exercise Ekuverin-2018 will be the ninth edition of joint exercise and is in continuation of a series of a joint exercise between the Indian Army and Maldivian National Defence force. The previous edition of the exercise was held at Belagani, India in 2017.

“The aim of the joint exercise is to acquaint both forces with each other’s operating procedures in the backdrop of amphibious and counterinsurgency, counter-terrorism environment as also to enhance the existing military relationship between the Indian Army and the Maldivian National Defence Force,” said an official.

The Indian Army contingent landed at Male International Airport on December 14 on a C-130 military aircraft of the Indian Air Force. The exercise aims to enhance the interoperability between the Indian Army and the Maldivian National Defence Forces in conducting joint operations and cement bonds of friendship between the two countries.

The new president of the Maldives has called India the island nation’s closest friend, welcome words for New Delhi after years of Beijing’s growing economic influence.

The Press Trust of India news agency reports that President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, speaking Sunday in New Delhi, said India “is not only our closest friend, it is also our largest trading partner.”

Solih defeated strongman Yameen Abdul Gayoom, who had forged increasingly closer ties to China, in a September election.

India has long seen the Indian Ocean nation as part of its sphere of influence. China, though, sees the Maldives as part of its “Belt and Road” infrastructure programs, which follow ancient trade routes through the Indian Ocean and Central Asia. Beijing has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in the Maldives.

Other News at EurAsian Times




Iran-Missiles Iran-Missiles
Featured15 mins ago

US Sanctioning Iran’s Defense Department Including The Ministry

The US announced on Monday that is sanctioning a wide swathe of Iran’s defense industry, including its ministry, in a...

j20-vs-tejas j20-vs-tejas
Asia Pacific50 mins ago

What Would A Chinese Invasion Of Taiwan Look Like? Chinese Military Analysts Explains

Recently, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) and the Air Force (PLAAF) conducted combat drills and almost intruded into...

Expert Reviews4 hours ago

Why US-Led Alliance Of Asian Nations – India, Japan & Australia Could Fail To Tame China?

Amidst China’s aggressive advances at land and at sea, the United States led Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (QSD) alliance with India,...

EurAsian Region5 hours ago

Russia, China, Pakistan, Iran Start One Of World’s Most Fiercest Military Drills

Russia launched a major military drill on Monday, involving almost 80,000 servicemen. Kavkaz-2020 (Caucasus-2020) is the final stage of annual...

army-soldiers army-soldiers
Featured6 hours ago

Can India’s Indigenous ‘Lightest Bullet Proof Jacket’ Be A Saviour At LAC Against China?

India has successfully developed an armour jacket for security personnel that is capable of protecting against bullets of different threat...

Chinese-Military-Base-Australia Chinese-Military-Base-Australia
Asia Pacific6 hours ago

China’s 3rd Aircraft Carrier Makes ‘Significant Progress’ Amid Conflict With India, Taiwan

China’s second indigenous aircraft carrier and the third in its fleet, the second Type 002’s construction details have surfaced over...

India-Pakistan ties India-Pakistan ties
Featured7 hours ago

Pakistan Rejects Nomination Of ‘Senior’ Indian Diplomat

Pakistan has rejected the nomination of an Indian diplomat for the post of its Charge d’Affaires in Islamabad, terming him...

Putin-Trump Putin-Trump
EurAsian Region8 hours ago

Escorted By Su-35 Jets, Russian Strategic Bomber Tu-160 Breaks World Record

The Russian Tu-160 strategic bombers broke their own world record by taking a non-stop flight of 25 hours. The previous...

rafale-jets rafale-jets
Featured14 hours ago

Indian Rafale Jets, For The 1st Time, Conduct Sorties Over Ladakh

French-origin Dassault Rafale jets, for the first time known, have commenced conducting ‘familiarization’ sorties over Ladakh as tensions between two...

qatar-saudi qatar-saudi
Featured23 hours ago

Qatar Affirms Its Position On Israel-Palestine Issue; Says Ending Israeli Occupation A Must

Qatar on Sunday said it stands by Palestinians and that the long-standing conflict with Israel should be resolved by addressing...