by Azra Naseem
The current government appears ready to sign a Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) with the United States allowing it to establish a military base in the Maldives.
According to the draft agreement, which I have seen, the Maldives will give the US unfettered access to, and use of, not just the military facility (or facilities) to be established but also all Maldivian aerial ports and seaports for whatever purpose it wants.
The designated area(s) [listed in an annex I have not seen] will be sealed off for ‘exclusive use by the United States forces’, which will have the authority to secure ‘the vicinity’ around the island(s) in whatever way the US deems is necessary for safety of Americans.
US personnel based in the Maldives will have diplomatic privileges, exemptions and immunities equivalent to that offered by the Vienna Convention.