Maldives deplores attempts to spread ‘false information’ on ties with India
The Maldives government on Wednesday strongly rejected attempts to spread what it called “false information” using the ‘India Out’ slogan, which alleges that bilateral cooperation between the governments of Maldives and India undermines the national security and sovereignty of the country. In an official statement, the Maldives' ministry of foreign affairs said that the country reaffirms its longstanding ties with all international partners based on principles of mutual respect and understanding, and refuted “false allegations” regarding its ties with India, which the country called one of its key bilateral partners.
Referring to bilateral ties with India, the Maldives government said, “…such interactions in the international sphere do not, and will not undermine the Maldives' independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity; in fact, they are designed to enhance the Maldives' national interests and deliver for the people of Maldives.”
Notably, the Indian high commission in the Maldives had earlier this year sought government action and greater security following what it called “recurring articles and social media posts attacking the dignity of the High Commission”. The Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), the ruling party in the country, had then issued an official statement expressing concern over the “ill-founded and disparaging remarks” against the Indian diplomats.
In its official statement today, the Maldives government said it believes false allegations regarding ties with one of the country's key bilateral partners are misguided and unsubstantiated. “The government firmly believes that these views are not the sentiments of the general public, but rather that of a small group of individuals with the objective of tarnishing the country's long-standing cordial ties with India,” said the statement of the Government of Maldives.
Talking about the strong bond that the two countries shared, the statement added, "The strong bilateral relationship between the Maldives and India is based on shared historical and cultural ties, matched by dynamic people to people contact. India has always been the Maldives' closest ally and trusted neighbour, extending constant and consistent support to the people of Maldives on all fronts."
The statement also laid emphasis on maritime security that is aimed at strengthening the strategic partnership between the two countries and ensuring the safety and stability of the Indian Ocean region.
“Support provided by India, on areas such as search and rescue capabilities, casualty evacuation, coastal surveillance, and maritime reconnaissance, directly benefit the Maldivian people. The Government of Maldives has also established partnerships with other countries in similar areas of cooperation, to enhance technical and strategic capacities,” said the statement.
The Maldives also reiterated the gratitude of the Government and the people of the Maldives for the countless assistance provided by India over the years, particularly, on instances such as the 1988 mercenary attack on the country, the 2004 Asian Tsunami, the 2015 Male' water crisis, and during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
“India will always remain a true and a trusted friend of the people of the Maldives,” read the statement.