HomeIndiaIndia and the worldIn A U-Turn, Pro-China Maldives Calls India ‘Closest Ally’

In A U-Turn, Pro-China Maldives Calls India ‘Closest Ally’

In A U-Turn, Pro-China Maldives Calls India 'Closest Ally'

In A U-Turn, Pro-China Maldives Calls India ‘Closest Ally’

MALE, (IANS) – In an about-turn, Maldivian President Mohamed Muizzu called India its “closest ally” and hoped it would provide debt relief to repay heavy loans that the successive governments in the island nation have taken from New Delhi.

Further, the president with a pro-China tilt, stated that he has not taken any action or made any statements that may strain the relationship between the two countries, the Edition newspaper reported.

The total amount of loans taken from the Export and Import Bank of India stood at $1.4 million and together with this, the amount owed by the Maldives to India by the end of 2023, stands in several millions.

In his first interview since taking office last year with Edition’s sister publication, ‘Mihaaru’, Muizzu said: “The conditions we have inherited are such that there are very large loans taken from India. Hence, we are holding discussions to explore leniencies in the repayment structure of these loans”.

Muizzu’s remarks come weeks after External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar took a veiled dig at Muizzu on his “big bullies” comment on India, saying: “Big bullies do not offer $4.5 billion aid or vaccine or food when neighboring countries are in distress.”

The relationship between the two nations nosedived after Muizzu made a formal request to New Delhi to remove its military personnel from the island nation by March 15, 2024.

The first batch of Indian military personnel left the island nation this month as planned, and Muizzu has further ordered that by May 10, all 88 military personnel, manning the three Indian aviation platforms, should leave the country.

Muizzu told the Daily that in doing so, his aim was to encourage the Maldives to become “self-sufficient”, adding that “it is highly irresponsible to attempt to portray these actions as either distancing the country from India or moving the country towards China.”

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  • Not sure what his motivation at this point is. There has to be some reason for his new thinking. $$$ from his newfound India’s neighbor comes with high interest and lots of strings attached. Does not want to become another Sri Lanka.

    March 25, 2024
  • India should not give anything to this guy with a funny beard cut. He came to power on an anti Inia – India out mandate. Since this was his mantra, let him cook in his own juices. Papa China will take good care of him, and before he realizes, leave the Maldives bankrupt. But that should not be of any concern, because Maldives will sink under water sooner than later, and these jokers will become China/Pakistan/Turkey citizens. In the interim, India should demand repayment of loans owed, no Indian tourists should go to Maldives, no visa for Maldives citizens to come to India for medical treatment, and India should choke all exports to this Islamic country. After all he has the backing of Muslim nations and China Bahadur!

    March 25, 2024
  • Handle with care such ungrateful, thankless and vision-less politicians. They are opportunists and cannot be trusted.

    March 26, 2024
  • Mr Jay Shankar knows how to handle such clowns!

    March 31, 2024

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