PM Modi’s Maldives visit: Maritime security in Indian Ocean and development initiatives to be focus

Eyeing robust security architecture in the immediate neighbourhood in the Indian Ocean, Prime Minister Narendra Modi heads to the Maldives and Sri Lanka on Saturday after a huge victory in the General elections. The visit to the Maldives and Sri Lanka are indicative of India With India playing the role of a security provider for the entire Indian Region, cooperative approaches assume significant importance. What is SAGAR Doctrine? Underlining the growing salience of the Indian Ocean and global maritime commons in India It calls for intensifying cooperation among navies and maritime agencies of the world to engineer virtuous cycles of cooperation. Linking India-Maldives Maritime Cooperation Both India and the Maldives earlier this year had agreed to deepen their maritime security cooperation in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) through coordinated patrolling and aerial surveillance and give a new momentum to overall military ties. Both sides have agreed to respect each side India is concerned over Chinas efforts to expand influence over the Maldives. Bilateral visits: Like India Briefing the media ahead of Modi Besides addressing the Majlis (Parliament of Maldives) on June 8, Modi with Maldivian President Ibrahim Solih, will also remotely inaugurate two completed projects And the Coastal Surveillance Radar System, that India has shared with a number of other countries in the region as well. The idea is to monitor white shipping and to help that country to preserve its sovereignty in its EEZ (Exclusive Economic Zone). Out of the $ 200 million budgetary support that India had pledged to help the government of Maldives, so far $50 million has been given as cash support for budgetary purposes and the rest of it will be in terms of Treasury Bills. The two countries are in the process of finalizing the currency swap agreement which is under SAARC. The Maldives has also requested for an enhancement of the amount as well as an extension of the rollover period and that is close to finalization. Agreements related to customs, white shipping, and training of civil servants among others will be inked in both countries. With a very clear message of solidarity in the wake of the Easter bombings, Modi will visit Sri Lanka on June 9. During his short and very packed visit, Modi will hold meetings with the President Maithripala Sirisena, the Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. He will also meet the leader of the opposition Mahinda Rajapaksa and have a meeting with Sampanthan who heads the TNA, the Tamil parties. During his talks in Sri Lanka, Modi is likely to propose a security umbrella which will be helpful for both the countries.