During a meeting between Maldivian President Dr. Mohammed Muizzu and Union Earth Sciences Minister Kiren Rijiju, the Maldivian government formally requested India to withdraw its military personnel from the country. The meeting took place at the President’s Office on Saturday, which was confirmed in an official statement. The talks are aimed at underlining India’s ‘Neighbourhood First Policy’ and promoting positive relations between the two countries.
“President Dr Mohammad Muizzu formally made the request during his meeting with His Excellency Shri Kiren Rijiju, Minister of Earth Sciences of India, at the President’s Office today,” an official statement said.
Minister Kiren Rijiju while conveying Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s good wishes to President Muizzu during his visit to Maldives reiterated India’s commitment to strengthen bilateral cooperation and people-to-people ties.
Rijiju posted on social media after the meeting, “Had the pleasure of meeting the President, His Excellency Dr. Mohammed Muizzu. Conveyed good wishes on behalf of Honorable Prime Minister Narendra Modi and India’s strong commitment to further strengthen bilateral cooperation and strong people-to-people ties.” Reiterated its commitment.” ,
President Muizzu, who took office on Friday defeating India-friendly Ibrahim Mohammad Solih, has previously indicated the need to address the withdrawal of Indian military troops as one of the issues between the two countries.
Maldives, a key maritime neighbor in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR), holds strategic importance for India’s ‘Security and Growth for All in the Region’ (SAGAR) initiative and ‘Neighbourhood First Policy’. India has historically assisted the Maldives, notably during the 2004 tsunami and the water crisis in Male in December 2014.
Maldives’ proximity to India’s west coast, its location at the center of commercial sea routes in the Indian Ocean and its importance in the SAGAR vision make it vital to India’s strategic interests. Despite the diplomatic challenge posed by the request for troop withdrawal, both countries aim to realign and move forward their relations for mutual benefit.
India’s Ministry of External Affairs had said ahead of the Union Minister’s visit, “This high-level ministerial representation of India at the inaugural ceremony underlines India’s commitment to further deepen the substantive cooperation between the two countries and the strong people-to-people ties. ” Island nation.
Maldives’ new Foreign Minister Musa Zameer expressed keenness to cooperate on issues of mutual interest and enhance enduring relations between the two countries.
Zameer, replying to Indian counterpart S Jaishankar’s tweet, said, “I look forward to working with you on issues of mutual interest and concern and to realign and move forward the time-tested relations between our two countries for the well-being of our people.” Eager to expand.” new post.
Earlier, Union Minister Rijiju attended the inaugural ceremony which was hosted by the President of Maldives and First Lady Sajida Mohammed for the dignitaries visiting Kurumba Maldives after the swearing-in ceremony.