Faced with mounting debt, Maldives seeks assistance from India

Faced with mounting foreign debt, some of which may have resulted from dubious loan agreements the Maldives is looking at India for more budgetary support to help Male meet its development goals. Ahead of his meeting with Indian leaders on Monday, Maldives foreign minister Abdulla Shahid told media that Male was still trying to study the implications of the debt accumulated by the previous Abdulla Yameen government as figures provided by government officials on foreign debt did not necessarily tally with the Chinese estimates. The Maldives is said to owe close to 70 per cent of its external debt to China. We hope that India will be generous enough to help us with the initial management of any shortfall we might face. We know that the Indian government is fully equipped to help us deal with issues like fresh water scarcity, sewerage and with our focus on the health sector, said Shahid. The minister also made it clear that no part of Maldives territory will be allowed to be used for military purposes by any foreign power. We will review any such agreement which Yameen may have signed and renegotiate it, said Shahid. India and the Maldives will also sign a visa agreement soon to facilitate easy access for Indian professionals to the Maldives and for Maldivians who have families in India.

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