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SOURCE: ANI

Amid the ongoing diplomatic row between New Delhi and Male, Maldives President Mohamed Muizzu extended his greetings to India on the occasion of 75th Republic Day.
He recalled the “centuries old friendship” between the two nations built on “mutual respect and a deep sense of kinship”.

“President Mohamed Muizzu sent greetings and good wishes to the President and Prime Minister of India on the occasion of the 75th Republic Day of India. In separate messages to President Droupadi Murmu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President Muizzu conveyed greetings and extended his heartfelt felicitations on commemorating the 75th Republic Day of India,” the Maldives President office said in a statement.

President Muizzu also expressed hope for continued peace, progress, and prosperity for the Indian government and the people for the coming years.

“President Muizzu conveyed good wishes from the Government and the people of the Maldives to the Government and the people of India. He underscored the Maldives-India bond nurtured by centuries of friendship, mutual respect, and a deep sense of kinship. The President expressed hope for continued peace, progress, and prosperity for the Government and people of India for years to come,” the statement added.

Former Maldives President Ibrahim Solih also congratulated India on the occasion of 75th Republic Day and called for the “unbreakable bond” between the two nations to go from “strength to strength”.

“On the joyous occasion of India’s 75th Republic Day I extend best wishes to Pres Murmu (@rashtrapatibhvn), PM @narendramodi, the government and people of India. May the unbreakable bonds of friendship that have long existed between Maldives and India go from strength to strength,” Mr Solih stated on X.

Notably, Mr Solih was one of the prominent Maldives leader to condemn the derogatory remarks made by some junior ministers which led to a diplomatic standoff between the two nations.

India and the Maldives on January 14 “agreed to fast-track the withdrawal of Indian military personnel” from the island nation, according to the Maldives’ Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The removal of Indian troops in the Maldives was the main campaign plank of Muizzu’s party during the Presidential elections. Currently, there are around 70 Indian troops, along with Dornier 228 maritime patrol aircraft and two HAL Dhruv helicopters, stationed On the second day of assuming office, Muizzu officially requested the Indian government to withdraw its military personnel from the Maldives.

Apart from the call for the withdrawal of Indian military personnel, a massive row erupted after a Maldivian deputy minister, along with other cabinet members and government officials, made disparaging and unsavoury references to Primer Minister Narendra Modi’s recent Lakshadweep visit and call to development the Indian archipelago as a global retreat for beach tourism.The Maldives government, however, distanced itself from the remarks.