India, Maldives sign judicial cooperation pact

India and Maldives has signed MoU for judicial cooperation to accelerate court digitization and boost prospects for IT companies & start-ups in both countries.

"In another reaffirmation of our #NeighbourhoodFirst policy, today the Cabinet approved signing of an MoU for Judicial Cooperation between India & Maldives. Will accelerate court digitization and boost prospects for IT companies & start-ups in both countries," tweeted External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar.

Earlier in June, Jaishankar interacted with the President of Maldives, Ibu Solih and underlined the broad-based cooperation between India and Maldives that continues to grow at Kigali while he was there to attend the 26th Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM).

India and Maldives share ethnic, linguistic, cultural, religious and commercial links steeped in antiquity and enjoy close, cordial and multi-dimensional relations. Relations between India and Maldives have been traditionally warm. However, during Abdulla Yameen's presidency (2013-18), bilateral relations frayed, especially with Maldives' economic and strategic relations with China growing rapidly.

While the recent 'India-First Policy' of the Maldives and India's 'Neighbourhood First Policy' are intuitively complementary, the challenge lies in implementing these policies with cultural, geo-economics, and geostrategic sensitivity.

Despite its small size, the Maldives is currently being wooed by a number of developed and developing countries. Because of the Strategic Importance of the Geographic Location of the Maldives with respect to key International Shipping Lanes (ISLs).

Maldives is important for political stability and security in the Indian Ocean Neighbourhood and the protection of Indian trade and investment.
They have a clear responsibility in maintaining peace and security in the Indian Ocean. India to see Maldives supporting the Pacific strategy of the Quad -- a strategic arrangement between India, US, Japan and Australia.
India being a net provider of security, is also our responsibility to maintain peace and security in the region. So these two are complementary approaches that India is working on.


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