US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo is scheduled to visit the Maldives after visiting Delhi just weeks ahead of the US Presidential election. According to leaked documents, US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo will be visiting both the Maldives and Sri Lanka with the financial aid agreements along with the controversial SOFA agreement.
According to the document, the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) will allow Visa-free movement in and out of the Maldives and Sri Lanka for US security and defense personnel including hired contractors and its allied personnel. In addition to this, all personnel flying in under the SOFA agreement will be granted diplomatic immunity.
Both the Maldives and Sri Lanka rejected the SOFA agreement with concerns to the national security, but with the shift in the government’s policies in both nations has meant that US will get a second chance in proposing the agreement.
It is also expected that Secretary Pompeo’s visit will coincide with the Joint-Indian naval exercise held with India, US, Japan and Australia. The naval exercise “Malabar 2020” is speculated to be a show of force against China.