President-elect of Maldives, Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, has taken office since Saturday (17 November), and the country is now seeking assistance from India and the US in order to clear the debt it took from the Chinese.
The pro-China candidate, Abdulla Yameen, had been defeated in the polls in a surprise victory. The inauguration is set to take place on Saturday at Male. Prime Minister Narendra Modi wrote in a Facebook post that, “I will convey to the new Maldivian government ... the desire of my government to work closely for realisation of their developmental priorities, especially in areas of infrastructure, healthcare, connectivity and human resource development.”
Solih has promised to bear the policy of ‘India First’. He has informed that the debt could be up to USD 1.5 billion. Maldives is now reaching out to India, US and Saudi Arabia for funds that can help them battle out the debt. The sum is estimated at USD 300 million.
India has an impending agreement with Maldives that talks about provisions of security for its exclusive economic. Spokesperson of MEA, Raveesh Kumar, was quoted by Economic Times as saying, “In keeping with its neighbourhood first policy, India looks forward to closely working with Maldives in further deepening the partnership.”
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