IRS |Institute of Regional Studies


Contemporary Regional Developments in Maldives

23rd December - 30th December
  • The Maldivian Democratic Party sets out a road map to beat Yameen in elections 2018. Hassan Latheef, secretary general of MDP told media on Sunday that it would push to have its candidate run against President Abdulla Yameen but would endorse someone else if necessary.
  • There can only be one religion in the Maldives, the Islamic Ministry issued a statement on December 28, urging people to avoid implying otherwise.
  • President Abdulla Yameen criticized MDP over inviting ‘foreign influence’ into civil matters which he said, can damage the country’s interests.
  • Abdulla Yameen appeals for restraint towards India after removing anti-India editorials. India is Maldives closest ally and friend said the President on December 24, 2017.
16th December - 22nd December
  • Maldives and Malaysia sign cooperation pacts on December 20. 2017. The MoUs involve plans to establish a Maldives Cultural Centre in Malaysia and improve mutual cooperation in the fields of health, higher education, and firefighting and rescue training.
  • Maldives ‘committed’ to relationship with India, assured by Foreign Minister Dr Mohamed Asim to his Indian counterpart. He countered the suggestions that the relationship is under strain due to growing Chinese influence.
  • The assurance also comes amid a flurry of Indian media reports about the China-Maldives free trade agreement signed this month.
  • Maldives opposition condemned anti-India editorial by pro-government websites. Relations between the two countries have been in the spotlight since the Maldives signed a massive free trade agreement with China
8th December - 15th December
  • The Local Government Authority of Maldives suspended three councillors for meeting India’s ambassador to the Maldives. The decision came days after authorities banned local officials from hosting foreign diplomats without prior consent.
  • Maldives signed free trade and maritime deals with the world’s second biggest economy China and it is expected to add to concerns in New Delhi over Beijing’s influence in South Asia.
  • Maldives President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom visited China from December 6 to December 9, 2017 at the invitation of China President Xi Jinping to increase Belt and Road cooperation between the two countries.
  • Maldives government condemned the US act of recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. “The Maldives considers East Jerusalem as occupied Palestinian territory. The Maldives, therefore, calls on the United States to respect the relevant UN Security Council resolutions and not hinder the international efforts to advance the peace process.”
1st December - 7th December
  • The Chinese Belt and Road initiative has put India’s traditional primacy in South Asia under threat as Beijing also secured Maldives’ agreement to become part of China’s Maritime Belt and Road Initiative.
  • The increased Chinese investments in the Maldives over the years, ranging from housing projects to infrastructure projects such as building roads and airports and now Chinese Maritime Silk Road project will help Maldives get out of India’s orbit.