Malé, Maldives - Indian media reports that Defence Minister Rajnath Singh is scheduled to visit the Maldives on Monday for a three-day visit, following the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) decision which resulted in the Maldives losing 45,331 square kilometers of its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). Neither the Indian nor the Maldivian government has revealed details about the visit.
Rajnath Singh, a right-wing Hindu politician, entered politics through the Hindu extremist organization RSS. India has been increasing its military presence in the Maldives since President Solih assumed office, prompting concerns about Maldivian sovereignty.
Observers have noted a pattern in which high-level visits by Indian officials are often followed by agreements that seemingly undermine Maldivian sovereignty. Currently, two military helicopters, one military aircraft, and numerous Indian military ships are operating within Maldivian territory. India is also developing a military base near the Maldivian capital, Malé.
Singh's visit comes at a sensitive time, as the Maldives recently lost a significant portion of its EEZ to Mauritius, a country considered a vassal state of India. Additionally, India is developing a fully-fledged military base in the Agalega Islands of Mauritius. The circumstances surrounding the ITLOS decision, combined with the increased Indian military presence in the region, raise questions about the future of Maldivian sovereignty and the nation's ability to navigate complex geopolitical dynamics.