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Maldives President changed decades old custom, left India and reached Turkey

Image Source : PTI
Mohammed Muizzu taking oath as the President of Maldives

New Delhi: Maldives’ new President Mohammed Muizzu has started making many changes in his policies after taking oath. This is also having a direct impact on the relations between India and Maldives. However, from the Indian side, every effort is being made to keep the relations between the two countries intact. But due to the attitude of President Mohammad Muizzu, India’s efforts do not seem to be getting any success at present. With the swearing in of the new President in Maldives, the decades-old tradition has been broken. On his first state visit, he has gone to Türkiye instead of India. Earlier, the President of Maldives has been visiting India on his first foreign trip after taking oath. This has also been a part of his ‘India First’ policy.

President Mohammad Muizzu is a pro-China leader

Maldives President Mohammed Muizzu is considered a pro-China leader. He had expressed his anti-India stance even during the elections. They also want the withdrawal of the Indian troop contingent present in Maldives. He has started implementing this during the elections and immediately after taking the oath of President. The Muizzu government is also reviewing more than 100 relations with India. Now the question is why did he choose Turkey for his first foreign trip? Actually, India has not had good relations with Türkiye. Türkiye is close to Pakistan. Turkey has been supporting Pakistan and opposing India at various international forums.

Muizzu wants to end dependence on India

Actually, Mohammed Muizzu’s plan seems clear that it is to end Maldives’ dependence on India. For this purpose, Muizzu has been visiting foreign countries even before taking the oath of office as President. This is the reason why he made his first visit to Turkey apart from the India First policy. This month he visited the UAE and brought assurance of $80 million funds from Abu Dhabi for the Male Airport project. However, India had given a credit line of $136.6 million for this project. Now the assurance of $80 million top up funding from the UAE means Maldives will not have to depend on India for the second tranche.

Union Minister Kiren Rijiju attended the swearing-in ceremony

Let us tell you that Union Minister Kiran Rijiju had attended the swearing-in ceremony of Muizzu. He also met Muizzu. After this, a statement issued by Muizzu’s office said that in the meeting the President ‘made a formal request to the Government of India to withdraw its military personnel from Maldives.’ Muizzu said he would fulfill his election promise of withdrawal of Indian military personnel from Maldives. “At the meeting, President Muizzu formally requested the Government of India to withdraw its military personnel from Maldives,” the statement said. It said, ‘The President said that in the Presidential elections held in September, the people of Maldives had given him a strong mandate to request India in this regard and expressed the hope that India will respect the democratic will of the people of Maldives.’ Indian government sources said that in the meeting, Muizzu raised the issue of presence of Indian military personnel deployed in Maldives to transport patients in medical condition and for air operations to curb drug smuggling. He said the President acknowledged the contribution of Indian helicopters and aircraft for the medical evacuation of Maldivian citizens.

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