Maldives’ Opposition Parties Hit Out at Anti-India Stance of Govt

Two major opposition parties in Maldives on Wednesday criticized their government’s anti-India stance. They expressed concern over the souring of the relationship with India, which according to these parties is the ‘most long-standing ally’ of Maldives.

The criticism of these opposition parties came a day after the Maldives government permitted a Chinese ship, equipped to carry research and surveys, to dock at a Maldivian port.

Holding a joint press conference, the two opposition parties,  the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) and the Democrats said, “The current administration appears to be making a stark pivot towards an anti-India stance. Both, the MDP and The Democrats believe alienating any development partner, and especially the country’s most long-standing ally will be extremely detrimental to the long-term development of the country.”

“Consecutive governments of the country must be able to work with all development partners for the benefit of the people of the Maldives, as the Maldives has traditionally done. Stability and security in the Indian Ocean is vital to the stability and security of the Maldives,” they said.

In recent past three deputy ministers of the Maldives posted derogatory comments against Prime Minister Narendra Modi. President Muizzu suspended the three ministers as their posts led to protests in India and a call for a boycott by Indian tourists. Muizzu, who is pro-China, has asked India to withdraw its military personnel from Maldives by March 15. There are 88 Indian military personnel stationed in the Maldives to operate a Dornier aircraft and two helicopters provided by India.

After taking charge Muizzu made Beijing his first port of call early this month. Earlier, the Maldivian presidents used to visit  India first after assuming office.

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