President Muizzu caught off guard, began pleading with Bharat as its time to repay the loan


GG News Bureau
New Delhi, 1st April. 
The Maldivian President, Mohammed Muizzu, appears to be speaking differently in light of the country’s ongoing tense relations with Bharat. Recently, Muizzu called Bharat a good ally and urged New Delhi to relieve the Maldives of its debt. At the end of the previous year, Maldives owed Bharat approximately 400.9 million US dollars, or roughly Rs 35 billion. Muizzu urged Bharat to include debt relief for the Maldives in the repayment of large loans that the governments had taken out. Muizzu made these flattering remarks about Bharat prior to the Maldives’ mid-April parliamentary elections.

Mohammed Muizzu is regarded as being in favor of China. He had adopted the slogan “India Out” for the Presidential campaign. Muizzu had taken a firm stand against Bharat ever since he was sworn in as President in November of last year. After only a few hours as President, he had ordered Bharat to remove its troops from the Maldives. By May 10, 88 Indian military personnel would return, according to the Maldivian President. The three aviation platforms in the Maldives were being operated by these Indian military personnel.

Bharat was the closest ally of the Maldives

Mohammed Muizzu stated that Bharat has been the top nation aiding the Maldives and has carried out the most projects in our nation in his first interview with local media following his ascension to the Presidency. He declared that Bharat will continue to be the Maldives’ closest ally. After the initial group of Indian military personnel departed the Maldives this month, Muizzu made remarks that were highly critical of Bharat. Over the past few years, Bharat has been using two helicopters and one Dornier aircraft to offer medical and humanitarian aid to the Maldivians. 88 Indian soldiers were present there only for the operation of these planes.

Muizzu pleaded with Bharat to alleviate the enormous debt that the Maldives’ governments had incurred. “The circumstances we inherited are such that enormous loans have been taken from Bharat, which are far more than the Maldives’ economy can handle,” he declared. As a result, we are negotiating with Bharat to receive assistance with loan repayment.” I don’t see any reason for any negative impact (on Maldives-Bharat relations); instead, we need to advance on any ongoing projects more quickly.” Muizzu’s friendly remarks regarding Bharat coincide with the Maldives’ mid-April parliamentary elections.

Bharat has no intention of stopping any project

Mohammed Muizzu expressed hope that Bharat would facilitate relief measures to Maldives in repayment of these loans. Referring to his discussions with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the COP28 summit in Dubai in December 2023, he said, ‘I also told Prime Minister Modi during our meeting that I do not intend to stop any ongoing project. Instead, I expressed a desire to strengthen and accelerate them. I suggested that a high-level committee be constituted, which would be capable of taking decisions related to the project so that work on other projects including Hanimaadhoo Airport can be ensured expeditiously.

Responding to a question about Indian military personnel, Muizzu said, ‘This was the only matter of dispute that arose with Bharat. Bharat has also accepted this fact and has agreed to withdraw the military personnel. It is not good to dismiss or ignore aid given from one country to another as useless. Even if they are soldiers of another country, we will deal with them in the same way. I have said very clearly that this is not a personal matter, but it is a matter of our national security. Muizzu said his government worked through consultations to find the quickest and most prudent solution to deal with the issue of Indian military personnel in the Maldives.

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