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India, Maldives dwell upon 'mutually workable solution': MEA amid strained diplomatic relations
India | Maldives
A file picture of Indian PM Narendra Modi meeting Maldives President Mohamed Muizzu. Photo Courtesy: PIB

India, Maldives dwell upon 'mutually workable solution': MEA amid strained diplomatic relations

| @indiablooms | 18 Jan 2024, 10:09 pm

New Delhi/IBNS: India and Maldives dwelled upon a "mutually workable solution" for the continued operation of Indian aviation platforms to provide humanitarian service to the people of Maldives, MEA Spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal said on Thursday.

Addressing a weekly press conference here, Randhir Jaiswal said, "On 14 January we held a meeting of the core group of both countries and we discussed several aspects of bilateral relationships".

When asked about the Maldives government's decision to withdraw Indian troops from the country, the MEA spokesperson said: "Whatever's discussed was put out in the press release... this is an ongoing discussion, so things will go forward or things will be discussed in the next meeting of the core group very soon."

The diplomatic ties between both countries hit a new low recently after Maldivian Minister Mariyam Shiuna’s disparaging comments on Prime Minister Narendra Modi as a "clown" and "puppet" in posts on X, which have since been deleted.

The tweets were removed following criticism and backlash on the micro-blogging site.

The row erupted also under the shadow of strained India-Maldives ties after President Mohamed Muizzu, who is seen as a pro-China politician, came to power.

Muizzu assumed the presidency of the Maldives in November 2023. As part of his election promise, he committed to withdrawing a group of approximately 75 Indian military personnel from his country and revising the Maldives' longstanding "India first" policy.

Over the issue of India's stand on the Iran-Pakistan issue, he said, "India has a clear stand on terrorism and we have released a press statement in this regard yesterday".

"It's a matter between Iran and Pakistan and we will not make any further comments on this issue."

On Wednesday reacting to Iran’s strikes on militant group Jaish al-Adl bases in Pakistan, India said this is a matter between the two countries.

"Insofar as India is concerned, we have an uncompromising position of zero tolerance towards terrorism. We understand actions that countries take in their self defense,” said the statement.

When asked about India's position regarding the Israel-Hamas, Randhir said, "We have condemned terrorism, called for the release of hostages, sought the protection of civilians, and called for the provision of humanitarian assistance.

We also stand for a long-term two-state solution".

On the question of the Red Sea and discussion in Iran with the external affairs minister, "We are deeply concerned about the whole situation. It does impact not just us, but it's an important shipping lane for not just India, but for the world".

He further added that the Indian Navy is patrolling the area and trying to secure the sea lanes and do their best so that our economic interests are not impacted".

On the relationship with China, the MEA spokesperson said, "Our relations with China are not normal, as we have said before...Diplomatic and military level talks are going on between the two countries to maintain peace at the border."

[With UNI inputs]

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