New Delhi, November 19, 2023: The newly elected Maldivian President, Mohamed Muizzu, has officially requested that the Indian Government withdraw its military presence from the island nation of the Maldives.
The request was conveyed during Muizzu’s meeting with India’s Minister of Earth and Sciences, Mr Kiren Rijiju, at the President’s office yesterday. The president’s office made the request public through an official statement, expressing the country’s “hope that India will honour the democratic will of the people”.
Muizzu, a 45-year-old engineer-turned-politician, was sworn in as the eighth president of the archipelago nation on Friday. Shortly after the inauguration ceremony, Muizzu had a private conversation with Rijiju, and their meeting also reviewed “various projects in the Maldives with the support of India”. Union Minister Rijiju and President Muizzu reiterated India’s commitment to strengthening bilateral cooperation.
The Maldives is one of India’s key marine neighbours in the Indian Ocean Region, and the overall bilateral ties, including defence and security, have been on an upward trajectory in the past few years.
Muizzu campaigned for the election with a promise to evict Indian military troops from the nation, emphasizing that he intends to achieve this through diplomatic means. According to the publicly released statement, “The President noted that at the Presidential Election held in September, the Maldivian people had given him a strong mandate to request India and expressed the hope that India will honour the democratic will of the people of the Maldives”.
The President emphasized the importance of accelerating the Greater Malé Connectivity Project (GMCP) and highlighted the need to address and overcome the issues delaying the project. The Minister expressed his aspiration to foster a constructive relationship with the Maldives, acknowledging the presence of a vibrant Indian community residing in the Maldives.
Minister Rijiju took to X, formerly Twitter, to convey Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s greetings and solidify the country's ties with the Maldives. “Privileged to call on President Mohamed Muizzu. Conveyed greetings from PM Narendra Modi and reiterated India’s commitment to further strengthen substantive bilateral cooperation and robust people-to-people ties,” Rijiju tweeted.
Edited by: Sri Soudamini Konka
Share This Post On
Leave a comment
You need to login to leave a comment. Log-in