Male reaffirms its India first policy

  1. During Indian Foreign minister’s visit to Maldives,Maldives has reaffirmed its “India-First Policy”.It means that it will work closely with India on all issues and will remain sensitive towards India’s security and strategic concerns.
  2. The two countries agreed on the importance of peace and security in the Indian Ocean region and to strengthen coordination for regional maritime security.Maldives also expressed its commitment to support efforts to combat terrorism, particularly cross-border terror and transnational crimes.
  3. India and the Maldives has also signed three agreements on (a) exemption from visa requirement for holders of diplomatic and official passports (b)memorandum of understanding on Indian grant aid for implementation of high-impact community development projects through local bodies and (c)collaboration in the field of energy efficiency and renewable energy
  4. Maldives has also expressed its support for India’s candidature for permanent membership of an expanded and reformed United Nations Security council(UNSC) and for a non-permanent seat for the year 2020-21. 
  5. India-Maldives ties have improved after the election of new Maldivian President.Earlier,ties had dipped to an all-time low under former president.Maldives is a key country in the Indian Ocean region and lies in the heart of busy shipping lanes connecting Africa and Asia.
  6. India and Maldives conducts a joint military exercise between them called as Ekuverin.The exercise primarily involves counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency drills with aims of strengthening the military alliance and interoperability between both countries.Last year,the exercise was held at Maldives National Defence Force (MDNF).