India Maldives Relations

1. A Brief History of India Maldives Relations

  • India established formal diplomatic relations with Maldives after the independence of Maldives from the British rule in 1966
  • India and Maldives officially settled their maritime boundary in 1976
  • Both the countries signed a trade agreement in 1981
  • Operation Cactus was India’s military aid of 1600 soldiers to Maldives to fight the armed attack of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in the year in 1988
  • India has provided liberal economic aid and cooperated with Maldives for improving its Infrastructure

2. Contemporary Relations 

2.1 Areas of Cooperation

  1. India shares a very close and cordial relationship with Maldives. The year 2015 marked the 50th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries
  2. Economic ties are very strong which includes the Indian Government’s provision of development assistance, low interest credit and essential commodities to Maldives
  3. India regularly involves in high level visits with Maldives Government
  4. India helped Maldivian students during Ukraine crisis to return to their home through its evacuation operation
  5. India provided bottled water through its helicopters to Maldives when its only water treatment plant collapsed
  6. India shares very close military ties with Maldives by having two helicopter bases, integration of radars and Indian COast Guard surveillance along Maldivian coast
  7. India also aims to remain as a net security provider to Maldives

2.2 Areas of Contention

GMR issue: 

What was the Issue?


Political crisis in Maldives

The Ex-president of Maldives Mohammed Nasheed was arrested and manhandled on account of terror charges in 2015. India expressed its concerns over this arrest

China’s Growing Presence in Maldives

  • There has been reports in the news that China is looking to create a military base in Maldives which has been consistently denied by both China and Maldives
  • Maldives is a part of China’s Silk Road project
  • China is also providing assistance in many infrastructure projects in Maldives


  1. Wikipedia
  2. The Hindu
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