Indian troops out, Maldives inks defence pact with China

Syllabus: GS- II, Subject: International Relations, Topic: India and its Neighbourhood, Issue: India-Maldives

Context: Maldives president Mohamed Muizzu’s calls for removal of Indian troops from the island nation.

India Maldives defence partnership:

  • 1988 – An attempted coup in the Maldives.
  • Operation Cactus – Indian forces intervene at the request of the Maldivian president to restore order.
  • Solidified India’s image as a regional security provider.
  • India provides training to Maldivian military personnel.
  • India has donated military equipment and has personnel stationed to operate them for humanitarian and surveillance purposes.

Recent strain in relationship:

  • Maldives president Mohamed Muizzu was elected on the “India out” campaign.
  • The new Maldivian government
    • Requested the withdrawal of Indian military personnel.
    • Refused to renew 2019 hydrographic survey agreement.
    • Skipped Colombo security conclave held in Mauritius.
    • Derogatory comments by Maldivian ministers against PM Modi.
  • Tilt towards China:

➢  Elevate relations to a “comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership.”

  Military pact with China to provide free military assistance.

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