Maldives President Muizzu Accepts Invitation To Attend Modi’s Swearing-in Ceremony

The development comes amidst the ongoing tensions between India and Maldives after pro-China Mohamed Muizzu won the island nation’s presidential elections.

Maldives President Mohamed Muizzu | Photo: PTI

Maldives President Mohamed Muizzu has accepted the invitation to attend Prime Minister-designate Narendra Modi’s swearing-in ceremony in New Delhi on Saturday. Modi will take oath as Prime Minister for the third time on Sunday evening.

The development comes amidst the ongoing tensions between the two countries after pro-Chinese Muizzu won the island nation’s presidential elections.

Muizzu has officially accepted the invitation from Modi for his swearing-in ceremony and the Council of Ministers of the Government of India on Sunday, an official release from the Maldives President's office read.

"Munu Mahawar, Higher Commissioner of the Republic of India to the Republic of Maldives, presented the letter of invitation to the President during a courtesy call at the President's Office," the release also said.

Muizzu has also expressed his gratitude to PM-designate Modi for the invitation, adding that he would be honoured to attend this historic event.

"He also stated that he looks forward to working with the Prime Minister to further strengthen the close relations with India, noting that Maldives-India relations are heading in the positive direction, as would be demonstrated by this visit," the official release said.

Earlier, Muizzu had congratulated Modi on his victory in the 2024 Lok Sabha election. He had said he looked forward to working with the Indian leader to advance the bilateral ties.

Muizzu’s arrival in India for the swearing-in ceremony will be on the lines of his mentor and one of his predecessors, Abdullah Yameen, who came for Modi’s first oath-taking ceremony in May 2014.

India-Maldives relations:

Muizzu, who is seen as pro-China, had asked India to withdraw its military personnel from the island country soon after coming to power in November 2023. Muizzu had defeated Ibrahim Mohamed Solih in the presidential election on the “India Out” pitch.

In February this year, the two countries had agreed that India would pull out all its 80-odd military personnel stationed in the Maldives between March 10 and May 10. This was completed by May 10.

On May 9, Maldives Foreign Minister Moosa Zameer flew down to Delhi in the first high-level visit since Muizzu came to power and met External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar.

Other invitees of Modi’s swearing-in ceremony: The leaders of Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Nepal, Mauritius and Seychelles have also been invited to the ceremony. Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe and Nepal Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda have officially confirmed their attendance, and more confirmations are awaited.