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India may sign counter-terror pact with Maldives

Maldives President Abdulla Yameen. File photo

Maldives President Abdulla Yameen. File photo   | Photo Credit: V_Sudershan

A crucial counter-terror pact is likely to be among the list of agreements that the President of Maldives, Abdullah Yameen may conclude during his April 10-11 visit to India, a high level Maldivian diplomatic source told The Hindu on Saturday.

Maldives has been seeking regional support to deal with extremism in view of 40 of its citizens reportedly fighting alongside the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. The issue was discussed between India and the Maldives during the March visit of Maldivian Foreign Secretary Ali Naseer Mohammed and Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar when both sides agreed on “information sharing” to counter terror.

“Our biggest challenge is the potential returnees from the IS terror camps who are trained in firearms, Mr. Ali Mohammed had told The Hindu during his visit.

Apart from the pact on counter-terror, diplomats on both sides are also working on welcoming an agreement on double taxation avoidance in the field of international air transport. The Union Cabinet has already given its nod on February 24 to the new agreement which will stop double taxation of international air transport between India and Maldives.

Experts have noted that the visit of President Yameen which comes just two days before the beginning of the Indian Ocean Region dialogue in Indonesia gives India one more opportunity to convince the Maldives to join the Indian Ocean Region Association . Mr. Yameen is likely to use the day-long meetings of April 11 to seek India’s support for the political process in his country. The issue of exiled former President Mohammed Nasheed is also likely to feature in talks.

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Printable version | Sep 20, 2020 8:00:58 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/India-may-sign-counter-terror-pact-with-Maldives/article14228631.ece

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