Tensions are rising as the Maldives, under the leadership of newly elected President Muhammad Muizhu, breaks away from its traditional ties with India, signalling a significant shift in its foreign policy.
President Muizhu, who recently assumed office, has chosen Turkey for his first official visit, a departure from the longstanding norm of prioritizing relations with India. This move comes against strained ties between the two nations, with Muizhu openly expressing discontent with what he perceives as the Modi government’s interventionist approach.
A notable action taken by Muizhu is the order for all Indian troops stationed in the Maldives to return to their home country. He argued that the presence of foreign troops without parliamentary approval is unconstitutional and goes against international values. The President stressed that such deployments pose a threat to the stability of the Maldives.
Muhammad Muizhu warned India sternly against meddling in the internal affairs of the Maldives, emphasizing the need for autonomy and sovereignty. This direct targeting of India has garnered international attention, being reported by prominent media outlets including Al Jazeera and Times of India.
The move by Muizhu to diversify and reorganize the Maldives’ foreign policy, distancing itself from historical ties with India, raises questions about the future trajectory of diplomatic relations in the region. The shift marks a significant development in the geopolitical landscape of the Indian Ocean region, with implications for the Indian government’s aspirations of influence and resource capture in the Maldives.