According to Alaina Teplitz, the U.S. ambassador to the Maldives and Sri Lanka, the agreement paves the way for the Maldives to join other nations, with „a shared responsibility to respect the rules and values that guarantee a free and open indopapaste space.“ Although India and the United States have long seen the islands approach China with growing concern, it is extremely interesting that the decision of the United States to deepen military relations with the Maldives was taken in consultation with India, which has long expressed unease at the idea of interference by supraregional powers in its backyard. The Hindu noted yesterday that India had not only welcomed the agreement, but that US officials had presented a draft US agreement to the Maldives before Indian officials in Male. COLOMBO — A U.S. government`s defense agreement with the Maldives this month is a sign of the postponement of geopolitical tides in a strategic section of the Indian Ocean once dominated by India, South Asia`s main power. The government of President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has set a new tone for one of his youngest predecessors under President Mohamed Waheed. After the signing of the agreement, the Maldivist Ministry of Defence tweeted: „[It] will give immense value to the excellent #US #Maldives partnership, defined by common principles and interests in the peace and security of #IndoPacific and #IOR amid growing threats such as piracy and terrorism.“ The message was a nod to the Maldives, south Asia`s smallest nation, in the broader context of the agreement. „IndoPacific“ was referring to President Donald Trump`s strategy for free and open Indo-Pacific oceans for the United States in the Pacific and much of the Indian Ocean. And IOR, the Indian Ocean region, is where India has major strategic concerns. On September 10, 2020, Washington and Malé signed the Framework for U.S. Department of Defense-Maldives Ministry of Defense defense and Security Relationship. The agreement would aim to deepen bilateral efforts to maintain peace and security in the Indian Ocean region (IOC).
The Maldives defence minister said the framework reaffirms the mutual commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific country. But the impact of this agreement on the IOC`s security architecture is far deeper than it has been expected. The chinaTent discourse on global security architecture and international politics has been focused on China for the better part of the 21st century. The fixation of China has given rise to a relaxed and indefinite security grouping of Australia, India, Japan and the United States (the „Quad“), which has also redesigned the geographical extent of the Asia-Pacific region as an Indo-Pacific area.