In the elections for the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) non-permanent seat, Indonesia defeated the Maldives with a big margin. Indian Media states that New Delhi lobbied against the Maldives in wake of the hostile India-Maldives relations. Indonesia won 144 votes while the Maldives could only manage 46. Did India actually lobby against Male given the rift in India-Maldives relations?
The Maldives still claim to have India’s support by their side but how true is that? As per diplomatic sources, India’s vote was not in the favour of the Maldives but Indonesia. India did not just vote against the Maldives but also created hostility for Male during the vote by lobbying against it. This is being seen as a retaliation by India to the Island nation which has turned averse. India-Maldives ties have been in troubled waters for a while.
Male initially claimed the support of 90 nations. The Maldives stated that it has the support of 60 nations in writing, while 30 nations have pledged verbal assurance. But when the secret ballot votes were counted, the Maldives was left red-faced with just 46 votes and Indonesia achieved a handsome tally of 144.
India had pledged to the Maldives earlier to support its bid in getting the UNSC seat. India’s change of stance can be seen as the first punitive action by New Delhi against Male. The Regime of President Abdulla Yameen has extensively overlooked India’s security concerns and interests in the Indian Ocean. The changed attitude of Male has irked India and created a rift in India-Maldives relations.
As reported by EurAsian Times earlier, the rift in India-Maldives Relations has left many Indians devoid of job opportunities in the Maldives. India-Maldives relations went downstream as India took strong objections to the emergency declared by the President of Maldives in February. Thousands of work permits to Indians have been held up by the Immigration Authority of Maldives. The companies in the Maldives do not want to hire Indians for they are not getting the work permits.
Growing India-Indonesia Ties
As reported by EurAsian Times earlier, Indonesia permitted India to invest in Sabang port, which is located near the strategic and vital shipping channel – the Strait of Malacca. Indian PM Narendra Modi earlier visited Indonesia to consolidate India’s relations with Jakarta. The Strait of Malacca is considered one of the most important shipping lanes in the world and the Sabang port lies right at the opening of the Malacca Straits. An Indian base in Sabang can literally choke Chinese supplies at the time of war.