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Maldives Foreign Minister Moosa Zameer aims to deepen ‘longstanding partnership’ with India

The bilateral ties came under severe strain after Muizzu insisted on the withdrawal of nearly 90 Indian military personnel operating three aviation platforms in the island nation.

MaldivesMALE: Maldives Foreign Minister Moosa Zameer on Wednesday left for India on his “very first bilateral official visit”, the maiden high-level visit from Male since bilateral ties came under severe strain after President Mohamed Muizzu, a pro-China leader, assumed office six months ago.

During his visit from May 8 to 10, Zameer will meet with Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar and hold discussions on deepening and expanding the longstanding partnership between the Maldives and India, the foreign ministry here said in a statement.

This is Foreign Minister Zameer’s first official visit to India since assuming office.

“Departing to New Delhi on my very first bilateral official visit. Looking forward to meeting my counterpart Minister of External Affairs, Dr.@DrSJaishankar, and discuss deepening and enhancing cooperation between #Maldives and #India for the mutual benefit of our peoples,” Zameer said in a post on X.

The bilateral ties came under severe strain after Muizzu insisted on the withdrawal of nearly 90 Indian military personnel operating three aviation platforms in the island nation.

India has already withdrawn most of its military personnel.

President Muizzu had set May 10 as the deadline for the exit of all Indian troops from his country.

On Monday, Muizzu’s spokesperson announced that 51 Indian military personnel have left the Maldives and confirmed that the rest would leave the island by May 10 as agreed by the two countries.

The ties strained further after three Maldivian deputy ministers made derogatory remarks against India and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on social media after Modi posted photos and video of the pristine Lakshadweep Islands on India’s west coast on January 6 on his X handle.

The Maldivian government suspended the three ministers after opposition leaders slammed the “appalling language” used by the officials against the Indian leader.

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