India Maldives Relations

India’s current presence in Maldives

Currently 75 Indians military personnel are in the Maldives to maintain and operate Dornier aircraft and helicopter gifted by India.

India’s interest in Maldives: In past four years, India has emerged as the Maldives main security and economic partner, committing over $1 billion towards the socio-economic needs of the Maldives.

India’s interest in Maldives is tied to its security concern regarding China’s presence in the Indian ocean region. The Maldives is a part of ‘Colombo Security Conclave’ for regional maritime cooperation. India’s national security is closely linked to its collective security efforts in the region.

Challenges in Relation.

  1. Political Instability: For instance, the arrest of Maldives opposition leader Mohmad Nasheed in 2015 and the subsequent political crisis strained India’s relationship with Maldives.


  1. Radicalisation: The increasing number of Maldivians being drawn towards terrorist groups like Islamic States.


  1. China’s strategic presence: The Maldives emerged as an important pearl in China’s “string of pearls” which is concern for India’s security.


  1. In 2018 Maldives cancelled an agreement with India to develop a key Naval base on Island of Margo due to China’s growing influence in the Maldives.


  1. The India out campaign in Maldives which seeks to create anti Indian sentiments among the people of Maldives.



India needs to play a crucial role in ensuring regional security in South Asia and surrounding maritime boundaries by actively participating in the Indo Pacific security space.


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