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Us Maldives Defence Agreement

However, under the current government of President Ibrahim Solih, relations between New Delhi and Male were extremely close and officials said they were confident that the pact with the United States would not harm India`s position on the islands. Last year, the Solih government also overturned an agreement signed by the Yameen government with China to develop an “ocean observation station” on its western westernest island of Makunudhoo. The Maldives government is also currently facing an ongoing opposition campaign, the PPM-PNC alliance, to support it in defence relations with India. The campaign was largely launched after India gave a Dornier plane, with which the opposition launched an “India Out” campaign. Last Sunday, the head of the Maldives Defence Forces held a press conference in which he stated categorically that there were “no foreign forces” present in the archipelago. In New Delhi, in a sign of a shift in dynamics in the region, New Delhi strongly supports the Maldives-U.S. framework protection agreement, a pact that firmly places the island state on the “indopapagian” side of the emerging geopolitical maritime divide, in which the United States and its allies oppose China. Under the title Framework for US Department of Defence-Maldives Ministry of Defence: Defence and Security Relationship “sets the two countries` intention to deepen engagement and cooperation in support to maintain peace and security in the Indian Ocean, and marks an important step forward in the defence partnership.” Maldivist Defense Minister Mariya Didi signed the pact on September 10 in Philadelphia, the U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense for Southeast and South Asia, according to a statement from the U.S. Department of Defense. The general drift of American independent powers or other non-Chinese extra-regional powers in the vicinity of the Indian Ocean is perhaps welcome for New Delhi.

In the decades following the Cold War, New Delhi signed IOR-centric pacts for defence cooperation with many nations, the United States, Australia and Japan (in the four nations and outside) and also with France – Britain and Russia could follow in months. More recently, Germany has distanced itself from China and started talking about the Indo-Pacific space. Faced with China`s growing powerlessness in the Indian Ocean region, part of India`s strategic community sees New Delhi as a hidden hand in the Maldives-U.S. defense pact. Some have read other meanings in the immediate context of the ongoing problems at the land border and the skirmishes between the two Asian powers. However, Indian officials told The Wire that New Delhi supported the agreement because there was a clear signal of where the Maldives would be in the Indian Ocean region. “There can be no more clarity about the Maldives saying it is part of the Indo-Pacific space,” said one official, using the term politically. The Wire learned that while India generally knew that talks had taken place, the text of the agreement had not been shared before it was signed Wednesday in Philadelphia. While the Maldives and the United States had previously cooperated on security matters, India had previously opposed a draft agreement on the status of the armed forces between the two countries. That was in 2013.

At this point, signing a defense pact, officials said, signaled a clear move from Male away from China on the security front. From India`s point of view in China, there is a real possibility that the waters of the Indian Ocean will sooner or later be overcrowded, with defence pacts and several navies crossing each other. Sri Lanka, an immediate neighbour of the ocean, recently reaffirmed its ongoing commitment to Colombo`s non-aligned foreign policy. Although India and the United States have long observed how the islands have been attracted to China with increasing concern, what is particularly interesting is that the United States.

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