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Moosa Zameer discusses President Muizzu's probable visit to India with S Jaishankar
Maldives
Photo Courtesy: Moosa Zameer X page

Moosa Zameer discusses President Muizzu's probable visit to India with S Jaishankar

| @indiablooms | 10 May 2024, 06:46 pm

Maldives Foreign Minister Moosa Zameer has said he discussed the probable visit of  President Mohamed Muizzu to India.

Maldives Foreign Minister also defended President Muizzu’s move to visit China and not India after he was elected to the top office and said that the discussion was held with New Delhi over the visit to India but was pushed back considering the ‘convenience’ of both sides, reported ANI.

“The president visited Turkey as well as China. I think that mainly on convenience because obviously, we did discuss with Delhi about a visit. But for the convenience of both sides, we thought it might be okay for us to delay it a little bit,” he was quoted as saying by the Indian news agency.

“So, in fact, even today, with my discussions with the External Affairs Minister, we are discussing the President’s visit to Delhi very soon. Hopefully,” he said.

He said no military pact was signed by Maldives with China.

“I don’t think there is any military pact with China. One thing the President of Maldives has clearly said is that we are not bringing in any foreign militaries in the Maldives, no, we are not,” he said.

After meeting Jaishankar, the Maldivian leader posted on X: "A pleasure to meet with H.E Dr.@DrSJaishankar Minister of External Affairs of India, in New Delhi. We reflected on our long history of bilateral partnership shared by mutual respect and understanding."

"We exchanged perspectives on increasing engagement and exchanges between Maldives and India, both bilaterally and in the international arena," he said.

Moosa is visiting India as India at a time when New Delhi 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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