President Muizzu Discusses the Maldives’ strategic positioning in global geopolitics and its approach to balancing relationships while safeguarding national interests and sovereignty.
In an interview, President Mohamed Muizzu of the Maldives addressed critical issues concerning foreign military presence, diplomatic ties, and national sovereignty. Here are key insights from the conversation:
Securing Sovereignty Amid Geopolitical Dynamics:
Muizzu emphasized the Maldives’ strategic location and its significance in global dynamics, especially as a crucial point along major shipping routes in the Indian Ocean. He stressed the importance of preserving the country’s independence amidst external powers vying for influence, highlighting the need for vigilance and cautious diplomatic maneuvering.
Acknowledging India as a close neighbour and historical ally, President Muizzu affirmed India’s integral role in various aspects of the Maldives’ development, including trade, tourism, and defense cooperation. He highlighted India’s support in enhancing the operational readiness of the Maldives National Defence Force, emphasizing the relationship’s foundation of mutual respect and trust.
Responding to speculation about a pro-China stance, Muizzu clarified his government’s approach as solely ‘pro-Maldives’. He reiterated the commitment to safeguarding Maldivian interests while aligning with global peace, security, and sustainable development goals. The aim is to bolster the country’s resilience and credibility on the regional and global stage.
Military Presence and Diplomatic Dialogue:
President Muizzu addressed concerns about Indian military personnel in the Maldives, asserting that any such presence without parliamentary approval contradicts the nation’s constitution. He expressed confidence in diplomatic dialogue to resolve the issue, underscoring the importance of respecting the democratic will of the Maldivian people.
Regarding the termination of the hydrographic surveys agreement with the Indian Navy, Muizzu clarified that the government’s decision signifies a shift towards building and utilizing national agencies’ capabilities. He emphasized the intent to seek external support when necessary while empowering national agencies for self-reliance.
President Muizzu’s stance emphasizes the significance of maintaining sovereignty and fostering mutually respectful partnerships for the Maldives’ geopolitical stability and sustainable development.