Republic Day: Maldives President Recalls 'Centuries Of Friendship', Greets India Amid Diplomatic Row

Amid the simmering diplomatic feud over the withdrawal of Indian troops from Maldives and the recent row over PM Modi's visit to Lakshadweep, Maldivian President Mohamed Muizzu and former President Ibrahim Solih extended greetings to India on the occasion of 75th Republic Day.

Maldivian President Mohamed Muizzu Photo: PTI

Amid the ongoing diplomatic turmoil between the two countries, Maldives President Mohamed Muizzu greeted India on the occasion of 75th Republic Day, keeping in mind the "centuries-old friendship". In his statement, President Muizzu reportedly expressed hope for continued peace, progress, and prosperity for the Indian government and the people.

Apart from Muizzu, former Maldives President Ibrahim Solih also congratulated India on the occasion of 75th Republic Day.

"On the joyous occasion of India's 75th Republic Day I extend best wishes to Pres Murmu (@rashtrapatibhvn), PM @narendramodi, the government and people of India. May the unbreakable bonds of friendship that have long existed between Maldives and India go from strength to strength," Mr Solih stated on X.

What all did President Muizzu say?

"President Mohamed Muizzu sent greetings and good wishes to the President and Prime Minister of India on the occasion of the 75th Republic Day of India. In separate messages to President Droupadi Murmu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President Muizzu conveyed greetings and extended his heartfelt felicitations on commemorating the 75th Republic Day of India," the Maldives President office said in a statement.

"President Muizzu conveyed good wishes from the Government and the people of the Maldives to the Government and the people of India. He underscored the Maldives-India bond nurtured by centuries of friendship, mutual respect, and a deep sense of kinship. The President expressed hope for continued peace, progress, and prosperity for the Government and people of India for years to come," the statement added.

India-Maldives Diplomatic Row

The removal of Indian troops from the Maldives has been one of the most disputed topics in the matter of ongoing diplomatic tension involving the two nations. It was also the main campaign plank of Muizzu's party during the Presidential elections.  At this moment, around 70 Indian troops, along with Dornier 228 maritime patrol aircraft and two HAL Dhruv helicopters, are placed in Maldives.

A day after assuming the President's office, Muizzu sent an official request to the Indian government to withdraw its military personnel from the Maldives. On January 14, both countries reportedly agreed to expedite the withdrawal of Indian military personnel from the island nation.

Besides the troop withdrawal issue, recently another massive diplomatic row erupted as a Maldivian deputy minister, along with other cabinet members and government officials, made objectionable references in the context of PM Modi's recent Lakshadweep visit and call to development of the Indian archipelago as a global retreat for beach tourism.