Former Maldives President Criticizes Island Minister’s Controversial Post Regarding PM Modi

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Former Maldives President Urges Current Leadership to Disavow Ministers’ Controversial Statements: Mohamed Nasheed Calls for Clarification on Comments Not Reflecting Government Policy


New Delhi: Mohamed Nasheed, the inaugural democratically-elected President of the Maldives, has strongly criticized “appalling” social media posts by a minister in the archipelago’s government regarding Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent visit to Lakshadweep islands, India’s smallest Union Territory.

PM Modi’s visit to the Union Territory, comprising 36 islands with an area of 32 sq km, was perceived as a strategic move to boost tourism on the islands.

Maldivian minister Mariyam Shiuna used derogatory language against PM Modi in her tweet, while another minister accused India of targeting the archipelago and suggested that India faced significant challenges in competing with the Maldives in beach tourism.

Expressing strong condemnation for these statements, Nasheed urged President Mohamed Muizzu to convey to the world that the comments made by the ministers “do not reflect government policy.”

In response to the offensive language, Nasheed stated, “What appalling language by Maldives government official Mariyam Shiuna towards the leader of a key ally, that is instrumental for Maldives’ security and prosperity. The Mohamed Muizzu government must distance itself from these comments and give clear assurance to India they do not reflect gov policy,” as mentioned in his post on X.

The incident underscores the need for diplomatic decorum and raises concerns about the potential impact of such divisive remarks on the bilateral relationship between Maldives and India. Nasheed’s call for the government to disassociate from the offensive comments reflects a commitment to maintaining a positive and collaborative association between the two nations.

In recent months, India-Maldives relations have faced increased tension following the assumption of President Mohamed Muizzu’s office. Elected in November 2023, Muizzu’s presidency has marked a departure from the previous India-friendly stance, manifesting in his pledge to reduce the presence of Indian military personnel in the Maldives and alter the nation’s “India first” policy.

Former President Mohamed Nasheed, who was elected in 2008 but resigned in 2012, citing a coup orchestrated by his rivals, has expressed concerns over the strained ties. This tension has been accentuated by Muizzu’s scheduled visit to China, reinforcing perceptions of his pro-China orientation.

Muizzu’s predecessor, Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, known for his India-friendly approach, was defeated by the current president in a run-off election in September, signaling a shift in diplomatic alignment. This strategic realignment has implications for regional geopolitics, with Muizzu’s decision to prioritize a visit to China as a noteworthy departure from the tradition of Maldivian leaders visiting India first.

China’s warm welcome and the emphasis on the “time-honoured friendship” between China and the Maldives underscore the changing dynamics in the region. As China strengthens its influence through infrastructure investments in the Maldives, this geopolitical shift raises questions about the future of India-Maldives relations and the evolving geopolitical landscape in the Indian Ocean region




“Maldives President’s Diplomatic Shift: Navigating Relations Between India and China”

In a strategic diplomatic move, Maldives President Mohamed Muizzu has stirred discussions by prioritizing a visit to China amidst strained ties with India. The shift in diplomatic alignment follows Muizzu’s call for the withdrawal of Indian military personnel and a review of over 100 bilateral agreements. This move challenges the tradition of Maldivian leaders visiting India first, raising questions about the future of India-Maldives relations.

The Maldives, a key maritime neighbor in the Indian Ocean, holds significant strategic importance for India’s initiatives like SAGAR and the ‘Neighbourhood-First Policy.’ Muizzu’s engagement with China and Vice President Hussain Mohamed Latheef’s participation in a China-sponsored forum add complexity to the evolving geopolitical landscape.

As the region watches these diplomatic maneuvers, the Maldives’ proximity to India and its location in vital sea lanes underscore its role in shaping regional dynamics.


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