According to the High Commission, India had provided large‐scale assistance to Maldives in the aftermath of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and during the 2014 Male water crisis…reports Asian Lite News
India and Maldives have decided to take forward their mutual cooperation in disaster management and response.
A tweet by the Indian High Commission in Maldives on Sunday said discussions were held to take forward partnership between India and Maldives in a priority area for enhancing capabilities in disaster management and response.
“Happy to take discussions forward in a priority area for the India-Maldives partnership for enhancing capabilities in disaster management & response,” said the Indian High Commission in a tweet.
The Indian High Commission’s tweet came in reply to a tweet by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) of Maldives.
The NDMA tweet said that Chief Executive of NDMA, Hisan Hassan and Deputy Chief Executive, Umar Fikry met with the Indian High Commissioner, Munu Mahawar and discussed the venues of cooperation between India and Maldives on further enhancing disaster management and response capacity in the Maldives.
“Chief Executive of NDMA and Deputy Chief Executive @umarey met with the Indian High Commissioner HE @Ambmunu and discussed the venues of cooperation between India and Maldives on further enhancing disaster management and response capacity in the Maldives,” said the Indian High Commission.
According to the High Commission, India had provided large‐scale assistance to Maldives in the aftermath of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and during the 2014 Male water crisis.
India has previously provided pollution dispersant to MNDF Coast Guard in 2016 and Indian Coast Guard would now be providing oil spill control equipment.
India has also offered customized training for Maldives National Defence Force Fire and Rescue Service in India.
Earlier this month, India’s External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar discussed bilateral cooperation with his Maldivian counterpart, Abdulla Shahid. The call was made by the External minister to greet foreign minister of Maldives on new year, and both talked on mutual benefits and bilateral issues, informed the office of the External Minister.
Later Jaishankar tweeted, “Recognized the great progress in bilateral cooperation in my talk with FM @abdulla_shahid. Its mutual benefits are very visible. Conveyed my New Year’s greetings to the people and Government of Maldives”.
This conversation between the two is important as Abdulla Shahid was recently elected the President of United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), where India holds few key positions. A member of Parliament from 1995 to 2018, Abdulla also has served as the Speaker of Maldives’s Parliament.
Maldives’ proximity to the west coast of India, it is barely 70 nautical miles away from Minicoy and 300 nautical miles away from India’s west coast, and its situation at the hub of commercial sea lanes running through Indian Ocean, and its potential to allow a third nation’s naval presence in the area imbues it with significant strategic importance to India.
India has a pre-eminent position in the Maldives, with relations extending to virtually most areas. Except for a brief period during former President Waheed’s administration and to some extent during former President Yameen’s regime, when there was a change in approach towards India, all Maldivian Presidents have recognized the importance of India’s strategic role in Maldives and worked towards strengthening bilateral relationship with India, with India being seen as a net security provider.
‘India First’ has been a stated policy of the Government of Maldives, states the ministry of external affairs on India- Maldives bilateral relations.
India and Maldives share ethnic, linguistic, cultural, religious and commercial links steeped in antiquity and enjoy close, cordial and multi-dimensional relations. India was among the first to recognise Maldives after its independence in 1965 and to establish diplomatic relations with the country.
India established its mission at the level of CDA in 1972 and resident High Commissioner in 1980. Maldives opened a full fledged High Commission in New Delhi in November 2004, at that time one of its only four diplomatic missions worldwide. (India News Network/IANS)