India and Maldives decided to put security and development at the heart of their bilateral ties by signing a Framework Agreement of Cooperation and Development and a memorandum of understanding which will provide the bedrock for joint cooperation in safeguarding each other’s security interests.
In a meeting with Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed a day after the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) summit, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh also announced a $ 100 million credit facility to help the island nation stabilise its fiscal position. The Maldives faces a serious credit crunch and had to allow its currency, the Rufiyaa, to float in a limited band to tide over the crisis.
With pirates having sacked Mahe port in Seychelles and many students who went to Pakistani madrasas coming under the ideological influence of the Salafi ideology, Maldives has integrated its radar network with that of the Indian Navy’s Southern Command and sought more avenues for its students to study in a more secular environment.
The Indian offer for enhanced security and developmental assistance comes days after China opened its mission here, though it has more to cater to its increasing business interests and employment to its personnel in the hospitality industry.
News Source: The Hindu