Fri, May 24, 2024

Maldives foreign minister addresses criticism directed at PM Narendra Modi

During their meeting, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and his counterpart from the Maldives talked about the prospect of President Muizzu visiting New Delhi "very soon."

Written by  Annesha Barua -- May 10th 2024 12:00 PM
Maldives foreign minister addresses criticism directed at PM Narendra Modi

Maldives foreign minister addresses criticism directed at PM Narendra Modi

PTC News Desk: In a significant diplomatic move, the Maldives has signaled a shift in its approach towards India, expressing eagerness to mend relations and avoid previous instances of criticising Prime Minister Narendra Modi. This shift was highlighted during discussions between the Foreign Ministers of both countries, with talks of President Mohamed Muizzu's impending visit to New Delhi on the agenda.

Foreign Minister S Jaishankar of India engaged in discussions with his Maldivian counterpart, Moosa Zameer, where the prospect of President Muizzu's visit to New Delhi was discussed as a potential step towards strengthening bilateral ties. The dialogue comes amidst efforts from both sides to repair strained relations and foster greater cooperation.

Addressing past instances of criticism directed at Prime Minister Modi, Minister Zameer assured that steps were being taken to ensure such occurrences are not repeated. This acknowledgment underscores the Maldives government's commitment to fostering a more constructive relationship with India.

Zameer also defended President Muizzu's decision to visit China and Turkey before India, attributing the delay in the planned visit to the mutual convenience of both parties. He emphasised that discussions regarding the visit to India were held with New Delhi but were postponed for logistical reasons.

"We had discussions about the visit to India, but we felt it would be more convenient for both parties to delay it. The President's visits to China and Turkey were primarily for convenience," Zameer clarified.

Furthermore, Zameer categorically denied the existence of any military alliance with China, reaffirming the Maldives' commitment to maintaining its sovereignty and independence. He emphasised that the Maldives has no intention of allowing foreign military presence on its soil.

The discussion between Jaishankar and Zameer also touched upon economic cooperation, with both sides exploring options for debt relief for the Maldives. Zameer underscored the importance of the economic partnership with India, describing it as integral to the Maldivian economy.

Moreover, Zameer distanced his government from previous derogatory remarks made about Prime Minister Modi, emphasising that appropriate measures had been taken to prevent a recurrence. He reiterated that such remarks did not reflect the official position of the Maldives government and expressed regret for any offense caused.

"In order to prevent such incidents in the future, we are taking necessary actions," Zameer affirmed, signaling a commitment to maintaining respectful diplomatic relations with India.

Overall, the discussions between the foreign ministers of India and the Maldives signify a positive step towards reconciliation and cooperation between the two nations, with both sides demonstrating a willingness to address past grievances and move forward towards a more constructive partnership.

- With inputs from agencies

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