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March 9, 2024

“Former Maldivian President Nasheed Extends Apology Amid Diplomatic Rift with India”

Former Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed, currently in India, expressed deep concern over the fallout from India’s recent boycott call, particularly highlighting its impact on tourism and issued an apology on behalf of the Maldivian people. The diplomatic tension between the two countries, exacerbated by President Mohamed Muizzu’s decision to expel all Indian military personnel by March 10, has ignited widespread apprehension, particularly within the tourism sector, a vital component of the Maldivian economy.

Nasheed emphasized the importance of maintaining robust bilateral relations with India and conveyed remorse on behalf of the Maldivian populace for the escalating rift. He acknowledged India’s historically responsible approach in dealing with such matters, citing India’s preference for diplomatic dialogue over exerting pressure.

Reflecting on the recent defense agreement between Maldives and China, Nasheed clarified that it was not a defense pact but rather an acquisition of equipment, notably rubber bullets and tear gas. He underscored the need for governance without resorting to force and criticized the government’s inclination towards militarization.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar echoed Nasheed’s sentiments, emphasizing the significance of diplomacy in resolving misunderstandings between nations. He expressed optimism in finding an amicable solution to the dispute through diplomatic channels, highlighting the importance of mutual understanding and communication.

The recent announcement by the Maldives to not extend the agreement permitting India to conduct hydrographic surveys in collaboration underscores the strain in bilateral relations. However, both Nasheed and Jaishankar emphasized the need for dialogue and diplomacy to overcome the current impasse.

In conclusion, Nasheed’s apology and acknowledgment of India’s diplomatic approach serve as a testament to the importance of fostering strong bilateral ties between the Maldives and India. While the current diplomatic strain presents challenges, both parties remain optimistic about resolving the dispute through peaceful means, underscoring the significance of dialogue and mutual understanding in international relations.

 

Jhumpa Lahiri

Jhumpa Lahiri

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