India & Maldives to Deepen Ties

India and the Maldives agreed to deepen cooperation to maintain peace and security in the Indian Ocean Region as Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced financial assistance of up to $1.4 billion to the archipelago nation amid China’s increasing inroads in the region.

The financial assistance will be in the form of budgetary support, currency swap and concessional lines of credit for socio-economic projects in the Maldives to reduce the country’s dependence on China.

The announcement was made in Delhi following PM Modi’s summit meeting with the new President of Maldives, Ibu Solih, who was on his maiden state visit after his election.

India and the Maldives agreed to strengthen cooperation to enhance maritime security in the region through coordinated patrolling and aerial surveillance, exchange of information and capacity building.

“The two leaders reaffirmed their unwavering commitment and support for increased cooperation in combating terrorism in all its forms and manifestations both within the region and elsewhere,” said the joint statement issued following the summit.

Jointly addressing the media with Solih, the PM said after the summit: “President Solih and I agree that to maintain peace and security in the Indian Ocean region, we need to deepen our cooperation. Both India and the Maldives share equal interest and stake in the development and stability of our region.” Modi said: “We will not allow the use of our countries to harm each other.”

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