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Tensions in India-Maldives Relations



  Jan 16, 2024

Tensions in India-Maldives Relations



Recent Developments:

Maldivian President Mohamed Muizzu's Comment: Post his visit to China, Muizzu made a remark implying resistance against being bullied by larger nations, indirectly hinting at India.
Military Personnel Deadline: Maldives set a deadline for the withdrawal of Indian military personnel.

Background:

Indian Military in Maldives: India has a small military presence in Maldives for operating radar stations and surveillance aircraft, perceived by Muizzu's party as a security threat.
Diplomatic Efforts: India is seeking mutually workable solutions to maintain its aviation and medical services in Maldives.

Strategic Shift:

Reduced Dependence on India: Muizzu announced measures to decrease reliance on India, increasing ties with China for food security and healthcare.
Defence Cooperation History: India-Maldives defense cooperation dates back to 1988, with India aiding Maldives in defense infrastructure and disaster response.

Challenges and Opportunities:

India's Strategy: New Delhi is planning to recall its military personnel, considering Maldives as a key ally in countering China's influence in the Indian Ocean.
Muizzui's Stance: There is a noticeable anti-India inclination under Muizzui's leadership, with decisions like not renewing agreements with the Indian Navy and skipping multilateral meetings.

Implications:

Uncertain Future for Bilateral Ties: The current scenario puts India-Maldives cooperation in a precarious position.
China's Influence: Any gap in India-Maldives relations might be exploited by China, affecting India's strategic interests.


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