Foreign Affairs
Maldives President’s Anti-India Policies

The Maldives’ government’s “anti-India stance” may be detrimental to the island nation’s development, according to the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) and the Democrats. The warning comes amid strained relations between the two nations and the Maldives’ affinity towards China, a potentially significant geopolitical and military shift in the Indian Ocean Region.

President Mohamed Muizzu won the 2023 elections with an anti-India narrative, a departure from his predecessors’ pro-India policy. Both MDP and Democrats believe alienating any development partner, especially India, will be detrimental to the country’s long-term development.

The Maldivian government must collaborate with all development partners, as it has done in the past, according to two opposition parties. They emphasized the importance of stability and security in the Indian Ocean for the Maldives’ security. The parties held joint news conferences.

The Maldives recently upgraded its ties with China following a diplomatic disagreement over derogatory comments made by Maldivian ministers against Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The two opposition parties’ remarks were made at a joint news conference.

India has set a March 5 deadline for withdrawing its troops from China, following President Muizzu’s first state visit to China. This is also his first port of call after assuming office, a shift from previous leaders who traditionally made India their first port of call.

The Maldives has allowed a Chinese survey ship to dock at its ports for replenishment, but will not conduct any research in Maldivian waters. The Maldives has always been a welcoming destination for friendly vessels, indicating a shift towards Beijing.

Anti-India Policiese Indian Ocean RegionIndiaIndian OceanMaldivesMaldives President's Anti-India PoliciesMaldivian Democratic Party (MDP)Mohamed Muizzu