August 8, 2022

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India strengthens its alliance with Maldives against China and an opposition campaign

This content was published on August 02, 2022 – 10:39

New Delhi, August 2 (EFE) .- India reaffirmed its ties with neighboring Maldives on Tuesday during an official visit by its President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih to counter China’s influence in the Indian Ocean and against a backdrop of Maldivian protests. Campaign against New Delhi.

“Maldives will always be a true friend of India and (we) remain committed to our shared vision for peace in our countries and in our region,” Solih said at a ceremony in New Delhi. , Narendra Modi.

The two countries signed several memorandums of understanding in areas such as bilateral cooperation, trade or cyber security, while India provided 24 vehicles to the archipelago’s defense forces, the Indian Ministry of External Affairs said.

Among the deals announced today is India’s Exim Bank’s statement of intent to agree a $119 million loan to build social housing in the Maldives.

Security and terrorism

The threat of transnational crime, terrorism and narcotics trafficking in the Indian Ocean is serious, so close interaction and cooperation between India and Maldives in the field of defense and security is vital for the peace and stability of the entire region,” Modi said.

The opposition leader and former Maldivian have questioned India-Maldives relations despite the two leaders showing good rapport in recent years and New Delhi increasing economic support to Male to bolster its influence against Chinese investments in the archipelago. President Abdullah Yameen.

The adversary launched a campaign this year titled “Out India”, against the neighbour’s military presence.

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Yameen, who was closer to Beijing than New Delhi during his 2013-2018 tenure, was accused of trying to weaken bilateral ties with India and last April ordered a halt to the campaign.

Comments by two members of Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) seen as offensive by the Muslim community caused blisters in the Maldives last June, days after fifty militants attacked attendees of the Maldives National Yoga Day event. Arena.

The Maldives has been plagued by a serious problem of jihadism, and the archipelago’s former president Mohamed Nasheed last week accused Solih of “appeasing” the most extremist elements of the coalition government “on charges of homosexuality” after the “selective” kidnapping of his brother. , classified as a crime in this country where civil laws and Sharia or Islamic law apply. EFE

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