In Letter, Maldives President Assures Indian PM Modi That Indian Ocean Will Remain Demilitarized

Maldives president Abdulla Yameen has reportedly written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to assure him that there will be no militarization in the Indian Ocean.

Published: 07th August 2015 11:06 PM  |   Last Updated: 07th August 2015 11:28 PM   |  A+A-

NEW DELHI: Maldives president Abdulla Yameen has reportedly written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to assure him that there will be no militarization in the Indian Ocean.

It is learnt that the assurance was in a letter that the Maldivian foreign secretary Ali Naseer Mohamed handed over to the external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj on Friday evening.

As per sources, Yameen had written in response to Modi’s letter that had been conveyed by foreign secretary S Jaishankar who was in Maldives earlier this week.

The assertion that Maldives will not take any step towards militarization of the strategic region was, of course, a reference to Indian concerns about the recent constitutional amendment which allowed foreigners to own land in the island nation.

There had been some anxiety in New Delhi that this will allow China to gain a foothold in Maldives, and eventually, lead to a military base. Jaishankar had even summoned the Maldivian ambassador Ahmed Mohamed to South Block on the evening that parliament approved the constitutional amendment bill.

Earlier last month, Yameen had publicly said after he ratified the constitutional amendment that was passed by parliament.

“The Maldivian government has given assurances to the Indian government and our neighbouring countries as well to keep the Indian Ocean a demilitarised zone,” Yameen asserted on July 23.

In his letter, Modi had reportedly written about bilateral relations in positive terms, referring to the long-standing ties with defence and security cooperation being a vital component.  The Prime Minister also noted in his letter that India has always assisted Maldives in the latter’s time of need.

In his reply, Yameen also reiterated standing invitation to Prime Minister Modi to visit Maldives. Modi had skipped Maldives in his Indian Ocean sojourn to Seychelles, Mauritius and Sri Lanka, when the opposition had held frequent street protests to demand the release of former president Mohamed Nasheed.

Sources indicated that there was no reason that Modi could not visit Maldives, if relations continued to improve and there were no concerns about any harm against Indian interests.

Stay up to date on all the latest Nation news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp