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Maldives Foreign Minister arrives in India for the first time after tensions flare between Male and Delhi

Announcing Zameer's visit, the Ministry of External Affairs said it is expected to lend further momentum to the bilateral cooperation.

Edited By: Ajeet Kumar @Ajeet1994 New Delhi Updated on: May 08, 2024 22:20 IST
Maldives Foreign Minister Moosa Zameer
Image Source : @MOOSAZAMEER/X Maldives Foreign Minister Moosa Zameer

Maldives Foreign Minister Moosa Zameer arrived in India on Wednesday to pay the first bilateral official visit after he assumed charge in the Maldives Foreign Affairs office. The minister, on departing to India, said that he is looking forward to meeting External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and discussing cooperation between the two countries.

Maldivian Minister shared about his departure on X saying, "Departing to New Delhi on my very first bilateral official visit. Looking forward to meeting my counterpart Minister of External Affairs, Dr. @DrSJaishankar, and discuss deepening and enhancing cooperation between #Maldives and #India for the mutual benefit of our peoples." This official visit comes amid a diplomatic standoff between the two countries.

According to the Ministry of External Affairs, the Maldives Foreign Minister will hold a meeting with EAM Jaishankar on Thursday.

India-Maldives relations 

The visit comes as India has said that it will replace its military personnel from Maldives before May 10. On May 3, India and Maldives held the 4th meeting of the bilateral High-Level Core Group and reviewed the replacement of Indian military personnel from the Island nation by May 10 and noted that the government will replace military personnel before the noted time. Earlier, the Mohamed Muizzu-led Maldives government formally requested that India withdraw its troops from Male.

Maldives foreign ministry said in a press release that both sides reviewed the existing bilateral cooperation. "Discussions were held on a wide range of issues of mutual interest, including development and defence cooperation." "Both sides noted with satisfaction that the Government of India will replace military personnel at the last of the three aviation platforms by May 10, and all the logistical arrangements are going ahead as per schedule," the press release added. It was further agreed that the fifth meeting of the High-Level Core Group will be held in Male on a mutually agreeable date during the month of June/July.

Last month, the Ministry of External Affairs said that the first batch of Indian personnel in the Maldives had been replaced by technical personnel. The external affairs ministry earlier informed that both India and the Maldives have agreed on a set of mutually workable solutions to enable the continued operation of Indian aviation platforms that provide humanitarian and medical evacuation services to the people of the Maldives.

Last month, the MEA said that the first batch of Indian technical personnel reached the Maldives to replace the defence personnel. India and the Maldives have held two high-level core group meetings, and the third one is expected to take place soon. The removal of Indian troops from the country was the main election campaign of Muizzu's party. Currently, there are around 70 Indian troops, along with Dornier 228 maritime patrol aircraft and two HAL Dhruv helicopters, stationed in the Maldives.

(With inputs from agency)

Also Read: India calls back 51 personnel from Maldives, confirms island nation as withdrawal deadline looms

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