India, Maldives to firm up ties with foreign minister’s visit

Male: Bilateral ties between India and Maldives are set to take a decisive turn with the maiden visit of their Foreign Minister Moosa Zameer amid a raging row between the countries over the withdrawal of Indian military personnel from the island nation even as the Mohamed Muizzu government deepens its relationship with China.

Zameer arrives in New Delhi this week to hold bilateral talks with his Indian counterpart S Jaishankar. The visit comes at a time when India is deep in its election season and the Model Code of Conduct is in force, and less than a month since President Muizzu’s party registered a landslide victory in the Maldives’ parliamentary elections.

A pro-China Muizzu came to power in November 2023 defeating Ibrahim Mohamed Solih in the Maldivian elections. Muizzu campaigned on the “India Out” plank to ascend to the post and had said that upon winning elections he would take capital Male closer to Beijing.

“Maldives is India’s key maritime neighbor 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 statement said.

Image courtesy of MoosaZameer@Facebook

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