India-Maldives Current Affairs - 2020

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India-Maldives review their Defence Cooperation

On December 14, 2019, India and Maldives agreed to expand their maritime security and boost their anti-terror cooperation in order to deal with the common challenges in Indian Ocean Region where China is expanding its military presence. The countries also held the 6th Joint Commission Meeting. It was co-chaired by the External Affairs ministers of the countries.

Highlights

The countries discussed about implementation of 1.4 billion USD economic package that was pledged by India earlier. At the Joint Commission Meeting, the countries reviewed the ongoing construction of police training facility in the city of Addu and other building projects that are implemented in Maldives with India’s assistance. It includes Composite Training Centre to train defence forces of Maldives, setting up of Coastal Surveillance Radar System (CSRS). It is to be noted that India had set up CSRS in Seychelles, Sri Lanka and Mauritius. The countries also agreed to partner Greater Male Area Connectivity Project. The project aims at connecting islands in the west of Male with the capital.

India-Maldives: Recent Developments

The countries will hold Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Exercise. They have also planned for the lease of Dornier aircraft. At the Goa Maritime Conclave that was held in October 2019, India offered to share real-time movement of maritime traffic in the Indian Ocean littoral states.

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Ekuverin 2019: Indo Maldives joint Exercise

Indian Army and the Maldives National Defence Force participated in a Joint Military Exercise called ‘Ekuverin’ at Aundh Military Station in Pune, Maharashtra. This year was the tenth edition of the joint military exercise which was organised from 7 to 20 October 2019.

About Ex- Ekuverin

Background: The word ‘Ekuverin’ means ‘Friends’ in Dhivehi language. Indian Army and Maldives National Defence Forces have been conducting Exercise Ekuverin since 2009. The 14 days joint military exercise is held alternatively in India and Maldives. The last exercise was held in Maldives in 2018 at Northern Area Headquarters, Lh. Maafilaafush.

Objective:

  • To enhance interoperability between the forces of two countries for carrying out counter insurgency and counter-terrorism operations in a semi-urban environment under United Nations (UN) mandate.
  • To share best practices and acquaint each other with operating procedures being followed while undertaking counter insurgency and counter-terrorism operations.

Significance: India shares very close cultural, ethnic, linguistic, religious as well as commercial ties with Maldives and the joint Exercise Ekuverin will assist in further strengthening of these ties between two nations.

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