India would hope for better ties with Maldives post pro-China Yameen’s ouster
New Delhi, Nov 17: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will today attend Maldives' President-elect Ibrahim Mohamed Solih's swearing-in. Modi arrived in Male on Saturday to attend the swearing-in ceremony of Solih, who surprisingly defeated strongman Abdulla Yameen in September.
Now that the regime of pro-China strongman Abdulla Yameen has ended, India would hope to better strained ties with Maldives with Ibrahim Mohamed Solih at helm. In the past, India was very uncomfortable with Abdulla Yameen's strong pro-China stand. Yameen's embrace of China had left India's anxious about being encircled by countries leaning towards Beijing.
India would be optimistic about the future of India Maldives ties as Solih's Maldivian Democratic Party has taken an anti-China stance. Modi would like to cash on this and regain ground lost to Beijing in their tussle for regional dominance.
The low-key Solih, a veteran lawmaker, has promised an "India first" policy in the Maldives, saying the small nation of a little over 400,000 people needs solid ties with its immediate neighbour.
This will be PM Modi's first visit to the Maldives as prime minister.
"I will convey to the new Maldivian Government of Mr Solih the desire of the Indian Government to work closely for realisation of their developmental priorities, especially in areas of infrastructure, health care, connectivity & human resource development," PM Modi said in a series of tweets.
He said the recent elections in the Maldives represent the collective aspirations of the people for democracy, rule of law and a prosperous future.
"We in India strongly desire to see a stable, democratic, prosperous and peaceful Republic of Maldives," the prime minister said.
He also congratulated Solih on his victory in the recent elections and wished him "the very best for his tenure".