All smiles as President Muizzu meets Indian PM Modi

President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu (L) meets with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (R) on June 10, 2024. (Photo/President's Office)

President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu met with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday, as the Maldivian leader visited New Delhi to attend Modi’s inauguration for a record-equaling third term in office.

President Muizzu’s current visit to India marks his first official trip to the neighboring world superpower, after he assumed office in November last year.

He was among the attendees at Modi’s swearing-in ceremony, and at an official banquet that followed, hosted by Indian President Droupadi Murmu, in honor of the leaders of neighboring countries attending the swearing-in-ceremony.

Modi met with President Muizzu and other leaders of South East Asian countries on the sidelines.

The President’s Office has released little detail regarding the meeting, but videos posted by Indian media show both leaders smiling as they engaged in discussion.

They also appeared close, with no sign of animosity throughout the visit, with President Muizzu seated next to Modi at the banquet.

This surprised many, as the visit came amid heightened tensions between Male’ and New Delhi, after President Muizzu demanded India withdraw its troops from the country, and after three deputy ministers made disparaging social media comments about PM Modi and India.

Modi, along with the council of ministers, were sworn into office in a ceremony held at Rashtrapati Bhavan in Delhi, on Sunday evening.

Modi’s BJP won 240 seats in the election, several seats short of the 272 required, to get a majority in India's 543-member parliament. However, two key BJP allies, the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), and the Janata Dal United (JDU), won 16 and 12 seats each, in their respective states, pushing the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) comfortably over the half-way mark.

73-year-old Modi has been serving as India’s prime minister since 2014.