Relations with India proceeding in very friendly manner: Maldives Minister
The Maldives government has once again requested India for a rollover on the USD 150 million loan provided by New Delhi.

at 12:22 am
Maldives Foreign Minister Moosa Zameer meeting Indian External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar in New Delhi on Thursday

Male/New Delhi, May 11: Maldives Foreign Minister Moosa Zameer, back home from his first official visit to New Delhi, has said that there remains no animosity between India and Maldives and that everything is proceeding in “a very friendly” manner.

“Matters proposed by both sides are proceeding with consent from both sides,” Zameer said during a press conference in Male, to brief the media on his India visit, reported.

He recalled the long standing historical relationship between Maldives and India during his speech, highlighting that India had extended aid to Maldives despite Maldives being listed within the least developed countries.

He stated that even as Maldives has now been placed among the list of developing countries, India has remained the foreign country that has persisted in offering aid to Maldives for the longest time. He pointed out the quick assistance provided by India in defending Maldives during the attempted coup ‘d’état and deadly terrorist attack on November 3, 1988 when local businessman Abdullah Luthufee led armed mercenaries of a Tamil militant organization to topple the government.

Zameer remarked that the Indian military officials who were deployed in the country to help thwart the coup ‘d’état had departed in November 1988 upon the request of the Maldivian government as well.

“I have no doubt whatsoever that India will still provide assistance to challenges faced by Maldives,” said Minister Zameer.

On Wednesday, Zameer had embarked on his first official visit to India since the Muizzu government assumed office and returned in Maldives on Friday.

He recalled the warm welcome that greeted him upon his arrival to India despite the country gearing up for a large election during this time.

“The External Affairs Minister had also arrived in Delhi and met with me, deliberated with me, planned the directions to proceed matters with us and returned to the campaign only after partaking in this. Therefore, the relationship between us and India is very close,” said Zameer.


He said that the Maldives government will not adopt any policy that will strain relations between Maldives and India.

He also said that the Maldives government has once again requested India for a rollover on the USD 150 million loan provided by New Delhi.

The original USD 200 million loan was acquired by the Maldives government in 2019 as a budget support; with USD 50 million already repaid, as confirmed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs Moosa Zameer, the reported.

Zameer formally requested from the Indian government for a loan rollover during his recent official trip to the country. He further confirmed Indian government did not demand for any compensation to extend the leniency.

“Based on the statements made by the External Affairs Ministry, we are positive and believe they are ready to extend help to us always. While they had recalled of helping us in the past, they have already given us the green signal during the one-on-one talks,” Zameer said.

Foreign Minister also said the state debt had doubled when the current administration took charge, and added the government has taken several steps in the past six months to reduce its debt inclusive of seeking leniencies to repay the outstanding loans.

According to statistics from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Maldives government owes MVR 6.28 billion (USD 406 million) in outstanding loans to the Indian government as of 2024 last quarter.

The Maldivian Foreign Minister’s visit was the first official visit to India by a senior official of President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu’s government.

The visit came days after the two countries completed the Fourth Meeting of the India-Maldives High-level Core Group in New Delhi on May 3, during which it was agreed that India will replace its military personnel at the last of the three aviation platforms in the Maldives by May 10.

The withdrawal of Indian military personnel manning the aviation platforms was a key campaign promise of President Muizzu, who is seen as pro-China.