India-Maldives defence pact
Why in News:
- India and the Maldives signed a defence Line of Credit agreement worth $50 million.
What is a Line of Credit
- A line of credit (LOC) is a preset borrowing limit that can be used at any time.
- The borrower can take money out as needed until the limit is reached, and as money is repaid, it can be borrowed again in the case of an open line of credit.
About the Defence Pact
- The defence Line of Credit will facilitate capability building in the maritime domain.
- The defence and security collaboration will also focus on combating terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.
- The two sides agreed to convene the first meeting of the Joint Working Group on Counter Terrorism, countering Violent Extremism and De-radicalisation at the earliest.
- Indicating deepening security cooperation, an agreement to develop, support and maintain a Maldives National Defence Force Coast Guard Harbour at Sifvaru was also signed.
Why India watches out for Maldives?
- In the southern and northern parts of Maldives chain lies the two important sea lanes of communication (SLOCs). These SLOCs are critical for maritime trade flow between the Gulf of Aden and Gulf of Hormuz in West Asia and the Strait of Malacca in Southeast Asia.
- A positive maritime environment in the Indian Ocean is essential for the fulfilment of India’s Strategic priority.
- Influence of terrorist groups like the Islamic State (IS), jihadist groups has been increasing.
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