India criticised over FTA delay, state visit cancellation

India criticised over FTA delay, state visit cancellation
January 07 15:57 2018

A top Maldivian diplomat has criticised Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for cancelling a 2015 state visit to the Maldives.

In an interview with Tribune India about Indo-Maldives relations, the ambassador to India Ahmed Mohamed spoke about the free trade agreement with China that has raised concerns over China’s influence in the Maldives.

Mohamed told the Tribune that China wanted a “quick FTA” which prompted the Maldives to engage easily with China.

The country’s first FTA was rushed through parliament in November 2017. The government says it will open up the world’s largest consumer market for tariff-free fish exports, while the Maldives committed to waive import duties for Chinese goods.

Mohamed said that an FTA with India was being discussed but remarked that things were moving slowly.

“There are certain things that need to move faster [from India’s side], including FTA. On infrastructure developments, we have requests with India pending since the 2014 visit of President [Abdulla] Yameen. There are requests for which we need speedier processing,” he said.

Speaking about the state visit of Modi that was cancelled following the arrest of opposition leader and former President Mohamed Nasheed, Mohamed said that the cancellation did not bode well.

“We have not been told that PM Modi’s visit did not happen because of that reason [Nasheed’s arrest and the protests that followed]. It would have been better for the ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy if PM Modi had visited us,” he said.

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12 Comments

  1. SUVEYB
    January 07, 21:35 #1 SUVEYB

    Maldives follows India first and Modiji (India) follows Maldives last. Pres. Yameen’s first state visit was to India. We Maldivians may ask for but will never beg. Maldivians are smart enough to find their own ways. History proves that.

    Reply to this comment
    • Chinese man
      January 08, 04:03 Chinese man

      The PPM leaders are only good at taking high-interest loans… then spending it on frivolous nonsense. Welcome to reality.

      Reply to this comment
  2. Jaja
    January 07, 22:15 #2 Jaja

    Maldives playing to India domestic politics

    So it’s BJPs fault. If Congress were in power, Maldives would not have been ignored by India !

    Reply to this comment
  3. copy
    January 08, 16:31 #3 copy

    All surrounding nations are turning towards China…..Nepal, Bangla, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, now Maldives….Pak is there by default. BJP ally RSS makes statements threatening minorities is further alienating dividing country internally but nobody stops them.

    Reply to this comment
  4. 100%Hindu
    January 08, 19:41 #4 100%Hindu

    If India is dragging its heels on the FTA and PM Modi seems in no hurry to pay you a state visit it means you are not on the priority list. I cannot see why there is a need for a FTA. What exactly does the Maldives produce that we don’t already produce in abundance and that includes fish?
    On the other hand can you survive without cheap imports from India and access to our low-cost health and educational facilities?
    The anti India garbage being churned out regularly from your politicians and trash mag Vaguthu doesn’t help your cause.
    2018 is not looking good for you. Expect strict visa restrictions soon.
    Best to concentrate on the fishing.

    Reply to this comment
    • Smug Maldivian
      January 14, 11:59 Smug Maldivian

      We Maldivians may not be powerful on our own, but economic agreements are usually followed by military ones. From what I hear all your neighboring countries are favoring China over you.
      2018 may not hold bad things for you yet but I think your future looks pretty bleak as well 😉

      Reply to this comment
  5. Michael Fahmy (not nickname)
    January 09, 03:09 #5 Michael Fahmy (not nickname)

    India is bigger than BJP or Modi, or both. Similarly, Congress is not India.

    India has held multiple perfect democratic elections at State ( regional) level as well as all-India (national) level. Considering that India is a vast country with a massive electorate, the holding of so many fair and free elections, flawlessly, is a remarkable achievement.

    Maldives must try to emulate India in democratic elections.

    Indian government’s slowness in decision-making as contrasted with China’s is regretable, but much of it is because of India’s democracy and China’s lack of it.

    The aspirations of China and India are also radically different. China aspires to super-power status and world domination. India is not a competitor to China in this respect.

    India’s aims, on the world stage, are modest compared to that of China.

    And rightly so.

    As a very small and weak, fragile, country, Maldives requires wise and smart leadership.

    Good government will lead to success.

    Maldives must work with whoever is in power in India. Indian people’s choice must be respected by the Maldivian leadership.

    That is democracy as well.

    Reply to this comment
    • Concerned Maldivian
      January 14, 11:52 Concerned Maldivian

      You must understand that calling us a ” very small and weak, fragile country ” does not inspire unity between us. Agreeably China will screw us over at some point, but Indians should understand that these decisions have been by a vastly unpopular government and does not have the support of the Maldivian people.
      P.S: Respecting the opinions of Indian people is all well and good but that certainly isn’t democracy,

      Reply to this comment
  6. dooky
    January 09, 22:51 #6 dooky

    Who cares about cardboard superpower poverty India ?
    China is the king of Asia now.

    Reply to this comment
    • 100%Hindu
      January 10, 13:52 100%Hindu

      The democracy in India is indeed remarkable. After the defeat of the Congress in the last election, the transition of power to the BJP was smooth and peaceful, something that you do not see in many countries of the world. We are a free secular democracy despite having a Hindu majority of 80%. If we had a 80% Sunni majority we would undoubtedly have been another ‘100% Muslim’ country like Saudi Arabia and Maldives, terrorising not only non Muslims but also other sects of Islam.
      India should ally itself with other free secular democracies like the US and Israel and distance itself from backward, politically unstable countries that have no democracy or personal freedoms.
      There are good colleges and hospitals in Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Terroristan. Why don’t you go there? They also share your fanatical religious beliefs and have vocal Islamist groups similar to your own.
      Maldivians should leave us alone. We have nothing in common.
      BTW I do not live or work in the Maldives to ‘feed my family’.

      Reply to this comment
  7. yindia
    January 10, 12:37 #7 yindia

    The concept of India as a country is artificial

    India is a generic word for a geographic sub reagion in Asia. It a sub continent and not a country .. although they are trying hard to keep it together as a federation
    It’s a matter of time before india breaks into war and into separate countries. Maldives should be prepared with contingency plans to deal with refugees and boat people in such a case

    Reply to this comment
  8. 100%Hindu
    January 10, 14:15 #8 100%Hindu

    Is the China Maldives ‘Friendship’ Bridge finished yet? The Chinese will wait till it opens then start to SCREW YOU for the massive loan, pretty much what they have done in Africa and Sri Lanka.
    Good luck Mallus.

    Reply to this comment

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