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Amid Diplomatic Row, Maldives President’s ‘Centuries Of Friendship’ Greeting On Republic Day

Maldives President Mohamed Muiz extended greetings to New Delhi on India's 75th Republic Day.

Man:

Amid the ongoing diplomatic spat between New Delhi and Male, Maldives President Mohamed Muiz extended greetings to India on the occasion of the 75th Republic Day.

He recalled the “centuries of friendship” between the two countries, built on “mutual respect and a deep sense of kinship.”

“President Mohammad Muiz extended greetings and best wishes to the President of India and the Prime Minister of India on the occasion of the 75th Republic Day of India.President Muiz extended greetings to President Drupadi Murmu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi with separate messages. We extend our heartfelt congratulations to India on the occasion of the 75th Republic Day of India,'' Maldives President's Office said in a statement.

President Muiz also expressed the hopes of the Government and people of India for continued peace, progress and prosperity in the coming years.

“President Muiz conveyed the goodwill of the Government and people of the Maldives to the Government and people of India. He underlined the bond between the Maldives and India, nurtured by centuries of friendship, mutual respect and deep sense of kinship. The President said: “We wish the Government of India and the people of India many years of peace, progress and prosperity,'' the statement added.

Former President of Maldives Ibrahim Solih also congratulated India on the 75th Republic Day and called for the “unbreakable bond” between the two countries to go “from strength to strength”.

“On the joyous occasion of India’s 75th Republic Day, I wish President Murmu (@rashtrapatibhvn), Prime Minister @narendramodi, the Government and people of India all the best. May the bonds of friendship we have never had before grow stronger and stronger. May we grow stronger,” Sorif said in X.

Notably, Mr. Solih is one of the prominent leaders of the Maldives who has condemned the derogatory remarks made by some deputy ministers that have led to a diplomatic standoff between the two countries.

On January 14, India and the Maldives “agreed to expedite the withdrawal of Indian military personnel” from the island, according to the Maldives Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The removal of Indian troops stationed in the Maldives was a key campaign policy of the Muiz Party during the presidential election. Currently, around 70 Indian troops are stationed there, as well as a Dornier 228 maritime patrol aircraft and two HAL Dhruv helicopters. On his second day in office, Muiz formally asked the Indian government to withdraw military personnel from the Maldives.

Apart from the demand for withdrawal of Indian military personnel, the Maldives' deputy minister along with other ministers and government officials made derogatory and offensive references to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's recent visit to Lakshadweep and his call for Indian development. A huge argument broke out. The archipelago is a world-class resort for beach tourism.

However, the Maldives government distanced itself from this statement.

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

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