• Thursday, July 25, 2024

ASIA

Maldives’ Muizzu to attend Modi oath-taking, says report: Resetting ties?

On June 5, the pro-China Maldivian president congratulated Modi over the latter’s victory in the recent general elections and voiced his desire to work with India.

(L-R) Maldives incoming president Mohamed Muizzu (Photo by MOHAMED AFRAH/AFP via Getty Images) and Indian prime minister Narendra Modi (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

By: Shubham Ghosh

MALDIVES’ president Mohamed Muizzu has accepted the invitation to attend Indian prime minister Narendra Modi’s swearing-in ceremony in New Delhi over the weekend, according to a media report on Friday (7).

Maldivian news portal Edition.mv quoted its sister-publication in Dhivehi, Mihaaru News, as saying that Muizzu will leave for the Indian capital on Saturday (8) for the ceremony accompanied by several other senior government officials.

There was no official confirmation yet from the Maldivian president’s office about Muizzu’s first official visit to India.

On Wednesday (5), Muizzu had congratulated Modi over the latter’s victory in the recent general elections and voiced his desire to work with the Indian leader to advance the bilateral ties.

Read: These world leaders to attend Modi’s oath-taking ceremony

“Congratulations to Prime Minister @narendramodi and the BJP and BJP-led NDA, on the success in the 2024 Indian General Election, for the third consecutive term. I look forward to working together to advance our shared interests in pursuit of shared prosperity and stability for our two countries,” Muizzu posted on X.

Modi responded to Muizzu, saying, “Thank you President @MMuizzu. Maldives is our valued partner and neighbour in the Indian Ocean Region. I too look forward to closer cooperation for further strengthening our bilateral ties.”

This marks the pro-China president’s first official visit to India since assuming office on November 17 last year.

Unlike his predecessors, who made the first port of call to New Delhi after assuming office, Muizzu had travelled to Turkiye first and to China for his first state visit in January. Within hours of his oath, Muizzu had demanded the removal of 88-odd Indian military personnel from his country, straining bilateral ties.

Read: China might be elated to see higher speed-breakers on Modi’s way but…

The military personnel were repatriated from three aviation platforms and replaced by civilians from India by the May 10 deadline set by Muizzu.

Muizzu’s predecessors Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and Mohamed Nasheed had also congratulated Modi on his election victory.

The swearing-in ceremony is expected to witness the presence of leaders from neighbouring countries, including Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Nepal, Mauritius, and Seychelles, in addition to the Maldives, as part of India’s ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy.

(With PTI inputs)

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