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"We Are Making Sure This Doesn't Repeat": Maldivian Foreign Minister Over Ministers Derogatory Remarks On PM Modi

06:58 PM May 09, 2024 IST | NEWS Desk
 we are making sure this doesn t repeat   maldivian foreign minister over ministers derogatory remarks on pm modi
"We Are Making Sure This Doesn't Repeat": Maldivian Foreign Minister Over Ministers Derogatory Remarks On PM Modi

New Delhi [India]: Maldivian Foreign Minister Moosa Zameer, who is on his first official visit to India, has distanced his government from the derogatory remarks made by some of its ministers against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and said that it was not the stand of the government and that "proper action" has been taken to ensure that it is not repeated
In an interview with media, Maldivian Foreign Minister Zameer reiterated the government's stance, stating, "I think if you have seen, like you said, we have said that it's not the stand of the government or it's not the view of the government. And we believe it shouldn't have been done. And then we are taking proper action to make sure that this don't repeat."

"And I think if you have seen, there has been a misunderstanding, social media mainly, but the governments of the Maldives in India, we understand what has happened and we have passed that stage now," he added.

The row between India and the Maldives broke out over derogatory posts made by three officials about PM Narendra Modi.

Following derogatory remarks against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Maldives Deputy Youth Ministers Mariyam Shiuna, Mahzoom Majid and Malsha Shareef have been suspended indefinitely, but all three will continue to receive their salaries, the President's Office has said, Maldives local media Adhadhu reported.

Providing further information about the suspensions, Maldives President's Office Communications Minister Ibrahim Khaleel told Adhadhu that the three deputy ministers were suspended indefinitely as a measure taken to look into the matter.

The Male is now facing a boycott by Indian tourists, who are one of the largest contributors to the country's income.

In light of concerns about a potential decline in Indian tourist visits to the Maldives following the controversy, Minister Zameer expressed the Maldivian government's eagerness to mend ties with India and reiterated their invitation to Indian tourists.

"I think the Minister of Tourism has clearly said that he would like to welcome and I like myself to welcome all Indians who would like to travel to Maldives. But I think in the long term, once we move forward because if you're seen in the last eight months , in Maldives and India, we are going through election cycles. So I think we will move beyond that phase pretty soon and we would like all Indian tourists to come back," he said.

"And if you look at the trajectory of what has happened. If you go back about 10 years ago, there continued to be a very important source market and then during COVID Indian travelers actually came into all this in high numbers. And then that trend continued ... In the past couple of months and we have had about 16-17 per cent increase and then of course there has been a decrease in Indian markets but I'm confident that it will pick up in the near future," he added.

Zameer's visit to India comes amid strained ties with the Maldives under President Mohamed Muizzu's government and as India said that it will replace its military personnel from the Maldives before May 10.

In April, 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.

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