Former Maldives President Urges Dialogue with Neighbors Amid Financial Challenges

Mar25,2024 #Maldives #Mohamed Muizzu

Published on: March 25, 2024 at 12:56 IST

Former Maldives President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has called upon current President Mohamed Muizzu to adopt a more cooperative approach and engage in dialogue with neighboring countries to address the archipelago nation’s financial challenges. Solih’s remarks come in response to Muizzu’s recent appeal to India for debt relief, signaling a potential shift in diplomatic strategies.

Speaking at an event in Male’ to garner support for Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) parliamentary candidates, Solih expressed concern over the handling of the country’s financial situation. While acknowledging Muizzu’s reported intention to discuss debt restructuring with India, Solih emphasized that the root of the financial challenges lies beyond Indian loans, with a significant debt owed to China.

Highlighting the disparity in debt owed to China compared to India, Solih stressed the importance of dialogue and cooperation with neighboring countries to seek assistance in overcoming financial difficulties. He urged Muizzu to abandon stubbornness and embrace compromise, emphasizing the readiness of neighboring nations to offer support.

Solih criticized the current government for alleged deception and the rebranding of projects initiated during his tenure. He accused ministers of resorting to falsehoods to cover up previous lies, indicating a lack of transparency in governance.

The strained relations between Maldives and India since Muizzu assumed office were also addressed. Muizzu’s demands for the withdrawal of Indian military personnel have further exacerbated tensions. However, in a recent media interview, Muizzu asserted his commitment to maintaining a strong alliance with India, emphasizing its importance as Maldives’ closest ally.

Muizzu’s conciliatory remarks towards India coincide with the upcoming parliamentary elections in Maldives, suggesting a potential shift in diplomatic rhetoric. As the nation navigates its financial challenges and geopolitical dynamics, dialogue and cooperation with neighboring countries remain imperative for sustainable solutions.

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