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Maldives Foreign Minister Moosa Zameer arrives in India on official visit amid diplomatic standoff
Image Credit: Image posted on X by MEAIndia

Maldives Foreign Minister Moosa Zameer arrives in India on official visit amid diplomatic standoff

| @indiablooms | 08 May 2024, 11:08 pm

New Delhi/IBNS: Amid a diplomatic standoff, Maldives Foreign Minister Moosa Zameer arrived in the national capital Wednesday on an official visit to India to discuss bilateral ties between the two countries.

During his visit, the two sides will discuss bilateral and regional issues and seek ways to provide impetus to our multifaceted relationship.

"Warm welcome to FM @MoosaZameer of Maldives on his official visit to India. Discussions on bilateral and regional issues and seeking ways to provide impetus to our multifaceted relationship lie ahead," the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) posted on X.

During his visit, Foreign Minister Zameer will meet the External Affairs Minister Dr. S Jaishankar for discussions on bilateral and regional issues of mutual interest.

"Maldives is India’s key maritime neighbour in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) and Foreign Minister Zameer’s visit is expected to lend further momentum to the bilateral cooperation between the two countries," the MEA said in a statement.

The visit comes as India is scheduled to replace its military personnel from Maldives before May 10.

On May 3, India and Maldives held the fourth meeting of the bilateral High-Level Core Group and reviewed the replacement of the Indian military from the Island nation by May 10.

Earlier, the Mohamed Muizzu-led Maldives government formally requested that India withdraw its troops from Male.

Diplomatic tensions reached a flashpoint in recent times between the two countries over remarks made by some Maldives ministers against Indian PM Narendra Modi's visit to Lakshadweep, to promote the Indian Union Territory having the potential to compete with tourism major Maldives.

Last month, pro-China Maldives President Mohamed Muizzu's People’s National Congress (PNC) took control of the Parliament by winning the election clinching over 60 of the total 93 seats, highlighting the Island Nation's further tilt towards India's hostile rival China.

The Maldives, which comprises some 1,192 tiny coral islands scattered across 800 kilometres (500 miles) on the equator, is considered as one of the top beach destinations in the world.

Apart from its scenic beauty, the country is known for its luxury hotels and water villas.

The pro-China Maldivian President faced massive domestic criticism for his anti-India stance as the main opposition parties of the country, the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) and the Democrats, slammed Muizzu for distancing from India, the island nation's "most long-standing ally " and source of tourists.

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