India to take forward ties with Maldives : The Tribune India

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India to take forward ties with Maldives

India to take forward ties with Maldives

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar with Maldives President Mohamed Muizzu in New Delhi on Monday. PTI



Tribune News Service

Ajay Banerjee

New Delhi, June 10

The visit of pro-China President of Maldives Dr Mohamed Muizzu for the oath-taking ceremony of PM Narendra Modi is an opportunity that New Delhi will avail to mend strained ties between the two nations.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar called on Muizzu here today and posted picture of the Maldivian President and himself with the words “Look forward to India and Maldives working together closely”. The Maldives President was accompanied by a minister in his cabinet.

Just two years ago, when India-Maldives ties were sailing smoothly, Jaishankar handed over a chain of 10 coastal surveillance radars to the Island nation. These were built with an Indian grant of $15.8 million and are operated by personnel of the Maldives’ Coast Guard.

It was Muizzu’s first visit to India after he became the island nation’s president on November 17 last year. The ties between India and the Maldives came under severe strain ever since Muizzu, known for his pro-China leanings, took charge of the top office. Within hours of his oath, he demanded the withdrawal of Indian military personnel from his country.

In April this year, Muizzu’s party won an election whereby voters backed his tilt towards China and away from India. During the last year’s presidential elections, Muizzu maintained a strident anti-India stand.

After the oath-taking ceremony yesterday, Modi met the visiting leaders at the Rashtrapati Bhavan where President Droupadi Murmu had hosted a banquet.

“The PM reaffirmed India’s commitment to its “Neighbourhood First” policy and “SAGAR Vision” (security and growth for all in the region),” an MEA statement said.

The PM emphasised that in his third term: “India will continue to work for the peace, progress and prosperity of the region in close partnership with the countries”, a communique said.

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#China #Maldives #Narendra Modi


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