Maldives’ bilateral strategy, says India first

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                                              Maldives’ bilateral strategy, says India first


India and the Maldives made a refreshing move to strengthen its bilateral ties when the latter’s foreign minister Mohammad Asim initiates discussion on strategic subjects with his counterpart Sushma Swaraj and PM Narendra Modi.

Maldives’ bilateral strategy, says India first
Mohammad Asim with his counterpart Sushma Swaraj

Asim, on his visit to India as President Abdulla Yameen’s special envoy, reignited talks on Male’s India First policy. Clearing the clouds of uncertainty Asim assures a trustworthy adherence to India’s security interests and also makes strategic plans for erstwhile developmental projects in India to gain momentum. Another policy under consideration in the meeting was on the subject of trade where Asim expressed readiness to sign a Free Trade Agreement with India soon.

The enhancement of defence and security cooperation between the two countries comes a relief to Indian MEA after the possible security threat posed by Male on December 1, 2017 when it signed a Free Trade Agreement with Beijing without taking the country’s opposition, or the people, into confidence while it already owes 70% of its debt to China. The move hinted at a major threat to Indian trade and security issue while China gains dominance in the Indian Ocean with Hambantota port in Sri Lanka, Gwadar port in Pakistan and Kyaukpyu Special Economic Zone in Myanmar.

Swaraj met Mohammad Asim, foreign minister and special envoy of the President of Maldive. Mohammad Asim and Swaraj had productive discussions to strengthen bilateral relationship keeping in mind India First policy of the Maldives and Neighborhood First of India.