Modi And Solih Jointly Inaugurate Defence Facilities In Maldives
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih jointly inaugurated an Indian built Coastal Surveillance Radar System (CSRS) and a composite training facility for the Maldives National Defence Force.
The CSRS is the primary sensor for Integrated Coastal Surveillance System. This addition to the chain contributes in creating a network of information to maritime domain awareness in the strategic Indian Ocean region. India already has a network of these radars in Seychelles, Mauritius and Sri Lanka
With this inauguration China making the Maldives a key base of its Maritime Silk Road project in the Indian Ocean has evaporated. Though it has acquired Hambantota port in Sri Lanka for commercial operations , it has now no significance. Radars in Seychelles and Mauritius also nullify the Chinese base in Djibouti.
PM Modi arrived in the Indian Ocean archipelago on Saturday on his first foreign visit after re-election as Prime Minister to strengthen the bilateral ties, reflecting the importance India attaches to its ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy. The joint inauguration came as the two countries signed six agreements.
The two sides have also signed a technical agreement on sharing white shipping information between the Indian Navy and the Maldives National Defence Force. The two leaders also jointly inaugurated the composite training facility of the Maldives National Defence Force in Maafilaafushi.
The relations between India and the Maldives had deteriorated after the then President Abdulla Yameen imposed emergency on February 5 last year.
Some decisions by Yameen including imposition of restrictions on work visas for Indians and signing of a new Free Trade Agreement with Beijing also did not go down well with New Delhi. However, ties are back on track under Solih’s presidency.