Maldives President Muizzu Was Proposed Trip To India Despite Troop Row

India-Maldives ties came under some stress as Muizzu, widely seen as a pro-China leader, maintained after assuming charge as the president that he would keep his election promise of evicting Indian military personnel from his country.

Maldives President Muizzu Was Proposed Trip To India Despite Troop Row

Muizzu is currently on a five-day visit to China (File/ANI)

New Delhi:

As the row between India and the Maldives rages, it has now emerged that the Maldivian government had proposed in November a visit to New Delhi by its President Mohamed Muizzu even as he maintained his call for the withdrawal of Indian troops from the island nation.

People familiar with the matter said the new Maldivian government conveyed to the Indian High Commission in Male that Muizzu wishes to travel to India. However, there was no forward movement on it.

"Finalisation of any visit depends on finding mutually convenient dates," said one of the people cited above while declining to elaborate further.

It is learnt that Male proposed Muizzu's visit days after he assumed charge as the Maldivian president on November 17.

The proposal came even as the Maldivian president called for the withdrawal of Indian troops from the island nation. Another person familiar with the matter said the proposal on Muizzu's visit was a verbal one.

India-Maldives ties came under some stress as Muizzu, widely seen as a pro-China leader, maintained after assuming charge as the president that he would keep his election promise of evicting Indian military personnel from his country.

A massive row erupted on Sunday after three deputy ministers in Muizzu's government made derogatory posts against Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Deputy ministers in the youth ministry Malsha Shareef, Mariyam Shiuna and Abdulla Mahzoom Majid were suspended on Sunday by the Maldivian government after India strongly raised the issue with Male.

The three deputy ministers used disparaging comments against Modi for his post on 'X' following his visit to Lakshadweep, inferring that it was an attempt to project the Union Territory as an alternative tourist destination to the Maldives.

The remarks by the ministers have drawn flak in India, with many celebrities urging people on X to explore domestic tourist destinations instead of going to the Maldives.

Many prominent personalities including Bollywood stars Amitabh Bachchan, Salman Khan and Akshay Kumar and cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar, appealed to people on Sunday to explore "Indian islands" and coastal destinations.

In a statement, the Maldivian foreign ministry had said the government is aware of "derogatory remarks" on social media platforms against foreign leaders and that the personal views do not represent its position.

On Monday, the Maldivian envoy to India Ibrahim Shaheeb was summoned to the external affairs ministry and conveyed strong concerns over the social media posts against Modi.

In Male, the Maldivian government conveyed to Indian High Commissioner Munu Muhawar that the remarks against Modi do not represent its views.

Muizzu is currently on a five-day visit to China.

The Maldivian president on Tuesday appealed to China to "intensify" efforts to send more tourists to his country, amid a spate of cancellation of reservations by Indian tourists.

In an address at the Maldives Business Forum in Fujian Province, he termed China as the island nation's "closest" ally.

"China remains one of our closest allies and development partners," he said.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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