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International relations

India offers Maldives $1bn in loans to help repay China debt

New Delhi calls for stronger security ties in exchange

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi, right, shares a moment with Maldives former President Mohamed Nasheed during the swearing-in ceremony of President-elect Ibrahim Mohamed Solih in Male, Maldives on Nov. 17.   © Reuters

NEW DELHI -- India is considering providing up to $1 billion in loans to the Maldives to help it pay down its debt to China, but only if the island nation agrees to distance itself from Beijing, Indian government sources said.

India is in talks with the Maldives, offering low-interest loans over several installments in exchange for stronger security ties, including the permanent deployment of Indian military personnel in the island nation, according to the sources.

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