Modi to Muizzu: India committed to strengthening Maldives-India relations

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks at a function to commemorate the annual Panchayati Raj, or grassroots democracy, Day in Palli village near Jammu, India, Sunday, April 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Channi Anand)

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has congratulated the Maldivian President-elect Dr. Mohamed Muizzu on his election victory, and re-affirmed India’s commitment to strengthening its relations with Maldives.

Muizzu, from the opposition PPM-PNC coalition, won the presidential election runoff held on Saturday with 54 percent of votes, beating MDP’s Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, the incumbent president, who won 46 percent.

Modi congratulated Muizzu in a post on X on Sunday morning.

In his message, Modi said that “India remains committed to strengthening the time-tested India-Maldives bilateral relationship, and enhancing our overall cooperation in the Indian Ocean Region.”

Muizzu, in the run-up to the election, had criticized President Solih’s administration for its close ties with India, questioning the various agreements made between the two countries.

He also accused Indian soldiers of operating on Maldivian soil – an allegation which has been repeatedly denied by President Solih’s administration.

Muizzu had vowed to have the soldiers expelled from Maldives.

He also vowed to review the agreements signed between Maldives and India.

Muizzu’s PPM-PNC had also launched an ‘India Out’ campaign calling for the expulsion of Indian soldiers allegedly stationed in Maldives – a campaign which the Indian embassy described deep concern over.