Md. Muizzu asks India for debt relief amid strained ties

Ever since he became President in November last year, the leader of the Maldives, who is pro-China, has taken a tough stance against India.
Md. Muizzu asks India for debt relief amid strained ties

Maldives President Mohamed Muizzu has changed his tone after his criticism of India, saying that India will still be the Maldives' "closest ally." He has asked India for debt relief. The Maldives owed around $400.9 million to India last year. PM

Since becoming President, he has been tough on India. He quickly asked Indian military personnel to leave three aviation platforms by May 10th.

In his first interview since taking office, President Muizzu said India had helped the Maldives a lot and had done many projects there. He said India will still be the Maldives' closest ally, according to a report from Maldives news portal

These comments came after the first group of Indian military personnel left the Maldives this month, as planned. By May 10th, President Muizzu wanted all 88 military personnel from the three Indian aviation platforms to leave the country.

India has been helping the Maldives with humanitarian and medical services for a few years now, using two helicopters and a Dornier aircraft.

The Maldives is very close to India, just 70 nautical miles from the Minicoy island in Lakshadweep and 300 nautical miles from the western coast of India. This makes it very important strategically, as it's in the middle of commercial sea routes in the Indian Ocean.

During the interview, President Muizzu asked India to help with the Maldives' debt. He said they have taken large loans from India over the years and need help with repayment. He said they want to keep going with ongoing projects to avoid any problems in the relationship between the Maldives and India.

President Muizzu's comments were more friendly towards India before the Parliament elections in the Maldives in mid-April.