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Maldives President Mohamed Muizzu to attend PM Modi's swearing-in ceremony: Report

Muizzu had congratulated PM Modi on his re-election and voiced his desire to work with the Indian leader to advance bilateral ties. PM Modi's oath ceremony is also expected to witness the presence of leaders from Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Nepal, Mauritius, and Seychelles.

Edited By: Aveek Banerjee @AveekABanerjee Male Updated on: June 07, 2024 17:40 IST
Maldives President Mohamed Muizzu and Prime Minister
Image Source : PTI Maldives President Mohamed Muizzu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Male: Despite ongoing tensions, Maldives President Mohamed Muizzu has accepted the invitation to attend Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s swearing-in ceremony in New Delhi on Sunday (June 9), according to local media reports. Muizzu will leave for New Delhi on Saturday for the ceremony that will mark the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance's (NDA) record third term and will be accompanied by several other government officials, according to Mihaaru News.

However, there has not been any no official confirmation yet from the Maldives President's Office about Muizzu's first official visit to India. Muizzu had congratulated PM Modi on Wednesday and said he looked forward to working with the Indian leader to advance the bilateral ties. 

“Congratulations to Prime Minister @narendramodi and the BJP and BJP-led NDA, on the success in the 2024 Indian General Election, for the third consecutive term. I look forward to working together to advance our shared interests in pursuit of shared prosperity and stability for our two countries," Muizzu said on PM Modi's re-election. In response, the Indian Prime Minister said that the Maldives was India's valued partner and neighbour in the Indian Ocean Region and pledged to strengthen bilateral ties.

India-Maldives tensions

Muizzu's visit amid a downturn in the bilateral ties between the two countries since President Muizzu assumed office in November and immediately asked India to withdraw its military personnel from the country by May 10. The Indian military personnel were operating three aviation platforms in the island nation. Zameer on Saturday said 76 Indian military personnel were replaced by civilian employees of the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited which manufactured the two helicopters gifted by India.

Two helicopters and a Dornier aircraft donated by India have been used for hundreds of medical evacuations and humanitarian missions in the Maldives. According to the agreement with the Maldives, when the military personnel were sent back, India replaced them with civilians to keep the operations of the three aviation platforms going.

Muizzu's foreign policy is strongly pivoting towards China with Muizzu travelling to Beijing in January and meeting top Chinese leaders, including President Xi Jinping. His government has also signed a defence agreement with the Chinese military under which the People's Liberation Army will assist the Maldivian security and defence forces.

Who is coming to PM Modi's oath-taking ceremony?

Besides, invitations have been sent to several South Asian leaders for the swearing-in ceremony. Those who were invited included Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal and Mauritius have been invited to attend the grand ceremony on June 9, news agency PTI reported citing people familiar with the matter.

The media division of Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe's office said Modi invited him to the swearing-in ceremony. It said Wickremesinghe accepted the invite and congratulated Modi on the electoral victory in a phone call. Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina and Nepalese leader Pushpa Kamal Dahal 'Prachanda' have also accepted the invites to attend the ceremony.

Narendra Modi will take oath to become India's Prime Minister for the third consecutive time on June 9. Though the BJP could not get a majority on its own in the polls, the party-led alliance secured 293 seats out of 543. The majority mark in the Lower House is 272. Leaders of the BIMSTEC countries attended Modi's swearing-in ceremony in 2019 when he became prime minister for the second consecutive term.

(with inputs from PTI)

ALSO READ | India’s helicopters being flown with Maldives defence personnel onboard: Report

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