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Jaishankar's response amid India-Maldives row after Muizzu's 'don't bully us' remark
Photo courtesy: twitter.com/DrSJaishankar

Jaishankar's response amid India-Maldives row after Muizzu's 'don't bully us' remark

| @indiablooms | 15 Jan 2024, 09:12 pm

Nagpur: Amid the diplomatic dispute between India and Maldives, External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar has emphasised that there is no guarantee that every country will consistently back India and that politics will always play a role, media reports said.

This was Jaishankar’s first response to the current controversy with Maldives, triggered by disparaging comments made by some Maldivian ministers about Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the aftermath of his recent trip to Lakshadweep.

In response to questions regarding the diplomatic discord with the Maldives and how India ensures the advancement of its national interests regardless of shifts in foreign governments, Jaishankar addressed the need for a consistent and adaptable approach to safeguarding India's interests on the international stage.

"That is what we're trying to do as part of what we call neighbourhood first policy," the minister responded, according to India Today.

"That being said, politics is politics. I cannot guarantee that in every country, every day, everybody will support us or agree with us," Jaishankar said, addressing a townhall 'Manthan' in Maharashtra's Nagpur, the report added.

He said India is trying "with a lot of success in the last 10 years" to "build a very strong connect".

Jaishankar stated that adopting such a strategy ensures that, amidst shifting political dynamics, the citizens of the foreign nation harbour positive sentiments toward India and recognise the importance of maintaining strong and cordial relations with our country.

External Affairs Minister came under the shadow of worsening diplomatic ties between the Maldives and India.

On January 14, Maldivian President Mohamed Muizzu asked the Indian government to remove its military presence from the island nation by March 15.

Muizzu made this announcement following his visit to China, where he referred to China as one of the "closest allies" of the Maldives and in a veiled jibe said that no country had the authority to "bully" the Maldives.

A senior Maldivian official, Abdulla Nazim Ibrahim, confirmed the development and said, "Indian military personnel cannot stay in the Maldives. This is the policy of President Dr Mohamed Muizzu and that of this administration".

Maldives and India have set up a high-level core committee tasked with negotiating the withdrawal of Indian troops.

The committee convened its first meeting at the Foreign Ministry headquarters in Male on Sunday morning.

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