President's policy to deepen ties with India: Zameer

Maldivian President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu meets India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi on December 1, 2023. (Photo/President's Office)

Minister of Foreign Affairs Moosa Zameer has said President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu's policy is to deepen the bilateral ties between India and the Maldives.

The minister said this in an exclusive interview with India's StratNewsGlobal, speaking about President Dr. Muizzu's current visit to India attending the swearing-in ceremony of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and highlighting the long-standing India-Maldives friendship.

Speaking in this regard, Zameer mentioned a successful visit in May 2024, where both India and the Maldives "reaffirmed cooperation commitments" while adding President Muizzu's visit to India for the swearing-in ceremony was one to strengthen the ties even further.

Minister Zameer further stressed the importance of expanding the India-Maldives friendship, reflecting on the successful May 2024 visit and discussions with Indian External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar.

"Both nations are committed to nurturing their partnership for mutual development, with hopes for continued flourishing relations," Zameer told StratNews.

"India's enduring support as a key ally and partner is acknowledged and appreciated."

In his exclusive interview, Zameer further stressed that the Maldives "values the partnership with India" and considers it as the closest neighbor and development partner.

He added that President Muizzu's visit to Delhi with a high-level delegation underscores "the significance of the relationship" between India and the Maldives.

Modi, who was elected for a third term, took oath of office on Sunday during a ceremony held at Rashtrapati Bhavan, the official residence of the Indian President.

Besides President Muizzu, Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe, Seychelles Vice President Ahmed Afif, Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Mauritian Prime Minister Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, Nepali PM Pushpa Kamal Dahal, and Bhutan's Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay were among the attendees from the SAARC region.

Tensions between India and the Maldives that intensified around the start of 2024 owing to derogatory remarks from top Maldivian government officials against Modi, had dissipated to an extent following Zameer's May 2024 visit.

Following this, Maldives state has maintained its position as a close ally of India, inviting the South Asian giant for discussions on strengthening areas of mutual benefits.