South Asia and Beyond

‘India First’ Trumps ‘India Out’ Campaign: How Will Maldives Ruling Party Dirt, Division Affect Ties?

New Delhi: On ‘Talking Point’N. Sathiya Moorthy, Policy Analyst & Commentator and Dr Gulbin Sultana

Associate Fellow, South Asia Centre, Manohar Parrikar Institute of Defence Studies and Analyses(MP-IDSA) in conversation with StratNews Global Associate Editor Amitabh P. Revi.


The panel discusses Maldives President Ibrahim Solih’s third visit to India since he was elected in 2018, Malé’s ‘India First’ and Delhi’s ‘Neighbourhood First’ policies despite the Maldivian opposition’s ‘India Out’ campaign, six MoUs aimed at strengthening economic and security ties, the gift of a second landing assault craft, another naval vessel and 24 vehicles for the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF), the remote launch of the India-funded, four-island ‘Greater Male Connectivity Project’(GCMP), the earlier agreement to develop and maintain a coastguard harbour and dockyard at Uthuru Thilafalhu(UTF) – a strategically located atoll near the capital, the Maldives, Mauritius, Sri Lanka, India ‘Colombo Security Conclave’ which has Bangladesh and Seychelles as observers, the China factor in the archipelago country, the opposition nominating former President Abdulla Yameen as its candidate for next year’s Presidential polls, the division in the ruling Maldivian Democratic Party(MDP) with dirt being thrown by the camps supporting President Solih and former President and current Majlis Speaker Mohamed Nasheed over the elections, same-sex and adultery allegations and what those divisions could mean for India.

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