Amid diplomatic row, what Maldives President Muizzu said on India's Republic Day | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

Amid diplomatic row, what Maldives President Muizzu said on India's Republic Day

Jan 27, 2024 07:24 AM IST

President Mohamed Muizzu's greeting comes in the backdrop of a diplomatic tussle between India and Maldives over several issues

Amid Male's diplomatic row with New Delhi, Maldives President Mohamed Muizzu on Friday wished India on the occasion of its 75th Republic Day, stressing that the two nations “nurtured by centuries of friendship, mutual respect, and a deep sense of kinship".

Maldives President Mohammed Muizzu. (AFP)
Maldives President Mohammed Muizzu. (AFP)

Mohamed Muizzu's greeting "from the Government and the people of the Maldives" to "the Government and the people of India," came in the backdrop of a diplomatic tussle between the two countries over several issues that unfolded after China-leaning Maldives president took the oath of office in November last year.

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Foreign minister Moosa Zameer and two former presidents Mohamed Nasheed and Ibrahim Mohamed Solih also wished India on the Republic Day on their social media platforms.

In the statement from Muizzu’s office, the president sent greetings and “good wishes to the President and Prime Minister of India on the occasion of the 75th Republic Day of India”.

"In separate messages to President Droupadi Murmu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President Muizzu conveyed greetings and extended his heartfelt felicitations on commemorating the 75th Republic Day of India,” the Maldives President's office said in the statement.

“President Muizzu conveyed good wishes from the Government and the people of the Maldives to the Government and the people of India. He underscored the Maldives-India bond nurtured by centuries of friendship, mutual respect, and a deep sense of kinship. The President expressed hope for continued peace, progress, and prosperity for the Government and people of India for years to come,” the statement added.

Minister of foreign affairs Zameer congratulated his counterpart S Jaishankar and the people of India with “warmest greetings and sincere good wishes” and said. In a post on X (formally Twitter), Zameer said, “I am confident that the close bonds of friendship and cooperation between Maldives and India will continue to flourish in the years ahead.”

In a post on X, Nasheed said, “A very happy Republic Day to the Prime Minister and people of India! Maldives-Indian friendship is eternal, and we are very grateful to India, its people and personnel, for all the assistance provided to us over the years.”

Solih said may the unbreakable bonds of friendship that have long existed between Maldives and India go from strength to strength.

India-Maldives diplomatic row

The India-Maldives diplomatic row began with Muizzu demanding India to repatriate its troops from the island nation within 24 hours of his swearing-in, followed by his decision to make China the first port of call breaking the tradition of visiting India first.

The tension further escalated after unruly comments by three Maldivian ministers on social media against India and Prime Minister Narendra Modi after he visited Lakshadweep.

In the latest row, the Maldives agreed earlier this week to allow a Chinese research vessel to dock at Male port against India’s apprehension about the Chinese navy's growing forays in the Indian Ocean.

The Maldives' proximity to India, barely 70 nautical miles from the island of Minicoy in Lakshadweep and 300 nautical miles from the mainland's western coast, and its location at the hub of commercial sea lanes running through the Indian Ocean Region gives it significant strategic importance.

(With inputs from PTI)

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