New Delhi: Special Desk
After the visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Lakshadweep group, a tweet by the Maldives government Minister has created a sensation on social media.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Lakshadweep, India’s smallest union territory, only to highlight tourism on the world tourism map.
In his tweet, the Minister of Maldives Government has seriously accused the Indian Government of occupying Maldives and the Minister of Maldives has said that India is trying to compete directly with Maldives by forcibly portraying Lakshadweep as a big tourist destination.
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The Maldives government minister’s tweet comes after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s social media post about snorkelling tourism activity in the Indian union territory of Lakshadweep went viral.
After Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s social media post went viral, instead of going to Maldives, users suggested Lakshadweep group as their next tourist destination.
Since Maldivian President Mohammed Muizzu came to power, possibilities of a world war between India and Maldives are being raised.
Maldives President Mohammed Muizzu took oath as the President in November 2023 last year.
During the election campaign, Maldivian President Mohammed Muizzu had said in his election manifesto that he would change the Maldives’ “India First” policy at any cost by removing a small contingent of seventy-five Indian military personnel from the small country of Maldives.
China’s Foreign Ministry has issued a statement saying that Maldivian President Mohammed Muizzu has an important program to visit China on Monday.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying had said on Friday that Maldives President Mohammed Muizzu has been specially invited by Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Maldivian President Mohammed Muizzu has been seen primarily as a leader supporting countries like China.
Maldives President Mohammed Muizzu was sworn in as the eighth President of Maldives by defeating his Indian supporter and predecessor politician Ibrahim Mohammed Solih in the presidential election held in September last year.
“China and Maldives are continuously working to strengthen their relations between each other. In the last fifty-two years since the establishment of diplomatic relations in Maldives, China and Maldives have continuously succeeded in building good relations with each other. China And Maldives has also set a great example of equality and mutual benefit between different countries through good relations.” This was stated by Wang Wenbin, another spokesman for China’s foreign ministry.
The strengthening of comprehensive bilateral relations and Maldives’ proximity to countries like India have led to visits by Maldivian President Mohammed Muizzu’s predecessors to India in recent times.
Following the visit of Maldivian predecessors to India, China has further strengthened its influence in the Maldives by making major investments in major infrastructure projects in the country.
Maldivian President Mohammed Muizzu also met Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Dubai during the COP28 climate change talks in December 2023.
Along with detailed discussion on multi-dimensional development work between India and Maldives, both the leaders also took an important decision to form a core group to further strengthen the relations between the two countries.
The meeting between key leaders of India and Maldives took place after President Mohammed Muizzu asked for the withdrawal of seventy-seven Indian military personnel from the Indian capital New Delhi.
An important decision was taken to review more than a hundred bilateral agreements between India and Maldives.
Maldives Vice President Hussain Mohammed Latheef also visited China in December last year. During his first foreign visit, Maldives Vice President Hussain Mohammed Latheef participated in the China-sponsored China-Indian Ocean Region Forum on Development Cooperation in Kunming.
At the China-Indian Ocean Region Forum, Maldives Vice President Hussain Mohammed Latheef, while praising Chinese infrastructure projects, forgot to mention China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
Let us tell you that under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), a large number of development works of infrastructure projects are going on by China in Maldives.
Countries like Maldives are major maritime neighbours of India in the Indian Ocean region.
Maldives has been holding a special place in India’s SAGAR and maritime domain security and development for all as well as in all the initiatives like ‘Neighbourhood-First Policy’ of the Narendra Modi government.
The Maldives have the closest maritime proximity to India, approximately seventy nautical miles from the island of Minicoy in the Lakshadweep group and three hundred nautical miles from the western seaboard of mainland India, as well as access to all commercial sea routes running through the Indian Ocean region. India has been giving significant strategic importance to its neighboring country Maldives due to its important location at the center point of India.
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