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Maldives President Mohamed Muizzu greets India on Republic Day amid ongoing diplomatic tension, underscoring bond nurtured by two nations for centuries
India-Maldives
Photo Courtesy; Maldives President website

Maldives President Mohamed Muizzu greets India on Republic Day amid ongoing diplomatic tension, underscoring bond nurtured by two nations for centuries

| @indiablooms | 26 Jan 2024, 02:50 pm

Maldives President Mohamed Muizzu greeted India on Republic Day and said the two countries share a bond nurtured by centuries of friendship, mutual respect, and a deep sense of kinship.

He made the comments amid ongoing diplomatic tension between the two countries over remarks made against PM Narendra Modi's recent visit to Lakshadweep, an UT having the potential to compete with tourism major Maldives, by three ministers of the Island Nation.

Modi visited the Indian UT to promote tourism in the region.

"President Dr Muizzu conveyed good wishes from the Government and the people of the Maldives to the Government and the people of India," read the statement issued by the Maldives President's website.

"He underscored the Maldives-India bond nurtured by centuries of friendship, mutual respect, and a deep sense of kinship," the statement said.

"The President expressed hope for continued peace, progress, and prosperity for the Government and people of India for years to come," the statement further said.

Muizzu sets March 15 deadline for Indian military personnel to withdraw

Muizzu has set a March 15 deadline for India to withdraw its military personnel from the country, an episode that may further escalate tension between the two nations.

The fresh development also occurred just days after Mohamed Muizzu visited China and met President Xi Jinping.

Mohamed Muizzu is considered close to Beijing.

He came to power banking on his "India Out" campaign.

India-Maldives diplomatic row

A diplomatic row erupted between India and Maldives after certain Maldivian politicians, including ministers, made disparaging remarks about Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Also Read: Maldives President Mohamed Muizzu sets March 15 deadline for Indian military personnel to withdraw amid escalating row

The ministers opened a verbal attack, saying that it was an attempt to divert tourists from the island country.

After India raised the issue with the Maldives, three ministers were removed from their positions on January 7.

On the following day, the Maldivian representative to India was summoned to the External Affairs Ministry, where strong reservations were conveyed over derogatory social media posts targeting PM Modi.

The comments made by Maldives' ministers have stirred discontent among Indians, leading to the cancellation of their scheduled vacations to the island nation.

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