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




F18-India-Deal F18-India-Deal
Asia Pacific1 hour ago

Doors Open For More Rafales, Super Hornets As Accident-Prone Indian MiG-29 Crashes Third Time In A Year

Thursday’s crash of the Indian Navy’s MiG-29K trainer aircraft in the Arabian Sea has once again revived the debate whether...

Asia Pacific1 hour ago

Xi’s China Eradicates Absolute Poverty; Where Does Modi’s India Stand?

Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, China has reportedly achieved its long-standing goal of ending absolute poverty. However, there have been no...

Iranian-Islamic-Revolutionary-Guards Iranian-Islamic-Revolutionary-Guards
Featured2 hours ago

Israel-Iran War: Why Israel & US Are ‘Keenly Awaiting’ Iran’s Retaliation After Top Nuclear Scientist Assassinated?

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani directly accused Israel of assassinating Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the Islamic country’s prominent nuclear scientist. He, however, added...

Russia-China Russia-China
Featured11 hours ago

Are Russia & China Taking A Lead From NATO & Working To Develop A Joint Nuclear Powered Aircraft Carrier?

China and Russia’s common adversary, the US, has brought the two powers together and have cooperated by carrying out joint...

JU-88 JU-88
Featured11 hours ago

How The US Got Hold Of Nazi Germany’s Most Ferocious Multi-Role Warplane – The Ju-88s?

The Junkers Ju-88 combat aircraft that was a mainstay in Nazi Germany’s air force, Luftwaffe, miraculously found their way to...

Indian-Armed-Forces Indian-Armed-Forces
Asia Pacific17 hours ago

Indian Elite Marine Commandos (MARCOS) Deployed In Ladakh As India-China Border Tensions Refuse To Die Down

In the latest development in the India-China border standoff, the Indian Navy has deployed its elite Marine Commandos (MARCOS) near...

Bubonic Plague Bubonic Plague
Featured17 hours ago

China Blames India & Pakistan For COVID-19 Pandemic; Gives Clean-Chit To Original Epicenter – Wuhan

A new study by Chinese researchers has now claimed that the COVID-19 virus originated in the summer of 2019 in...

Expert Reviews19 hours ago

Modified Version Of BrahMos Anti-Ship Cruise Missile Successfully Tested; Hits Target With Pinpoint Accuracy

The Russian Navy has once again test-fired its latest hypersonic anti-ship missile Zircon, also spelled as Tsirkon which is reported...

Missile-System Missile-System
Asia Pacific20 hours ago

Japan’s Biggest Threats Aren’t China And North Korea, But A Challenging Issue Within Its Own Army

Japan’s dwindling birthrate has now become a security threat as the Self Defense Forces (SDF) face challenges to recruit personnel...

Boycott-Chinese-Products Boycott-Chinese-Products
Featured22 hours ago

China Ends Western Nuclear Monopoly With Indigenous Hualong One Reactor – Chinese Media

The China National Nuclear Corp (CNNC) claimed on Friday that its first Hualong One, a third-generation pressurized water nuclear reactor,...