One is the leader of the world’s superpower, while other leads world’s fastest growing economy. One has the world in hand, while other wants to have the world in hand. And as per an old Hindi proverb, “Two thieves are always relatives”, the story of Trump-Modi friendship can be laid out in similar terms. Trump gained his power in November, 2016 whereas, the Modi-period has been continuing since 2014. June, 2017 witnessed a turn of events, when Modi visited America and became “best of friends” with Donald J. Trump. The visit provided an opportunity to strengthen the US-India strategic partnership. The talks between the two leaders would be broad-ranging and seek to advance common priorities, including counter-terrorism, facilitating India’s defence modernization, and helping advance India’s role in Asia-Pacific, echoing the line expressed by previous US administrations going back to Presidents Obama and Bush.
The growing friendship
The extent of friendship can be seen over the telephonic conversations as well. Both the leaders are quite “concerned” over the political turmoil crisis in the Maldives. “Both leaders expressed concern about the political crisis in the Maldives and the importance of respect for democratic institutions and rule of law,” the White House said in a readout of the phone call, the first between Modi and Trump this year.
The Maldives crisis
The Maldives is engulfed in a deepening political crisis, as the introduction of a state of emergency decree across the holiday islands prompted heavily-armed troops to storm the country’s top court and arrest a former president. It can be summarized in the following points:
- In an unexpected move last week, the Maldives Supreme Court ordered the release of several imprisoned opposition lawmakers, ruling that their trials were politically motivated.
- President Abdulla Yameen refused to comply with the decision and instead imposed a state of emergency for a period of 15 days.
- Alongside India, the U.S. and the U.K. have both urged Yameen to honor the rule of law and free the detainees.