Highlights

  • Ex-Maldives minister Mariya Ahmed Didi backs India
  • Mariya Didi slams current Maldives govt for anti-India stand
  • Mariya Didi hails India as a 'friend'

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'India has been our 911 call': ex-Maldives minister amid row over Modi's Lakshadweep visit

Amid a row between India and Maldives, a former minister of the island nation has slammed its current government for anti-India stand

'India has been our 911 call': ex-Maldives minister amid row over Modi's Lakshadweep visit

Former Maldives Defence Minister Mariya Ahmed Didi on Monday said that 'derogatory' comments against Prime Minister Narendra Modi demonstrate the "short-sightedness" of the Maldives government, adding that India has been a reliable ally, providing assistance in various sectors, including defense, and criticized any attempt to undermine the longstanding relationship.

She further expressed disappointment over disparaging remarks, highlighting India as the "911 call" for the Maldives, always coming to their rescue in times of need.

"It is the short-sightedness on the part of the present administration... We are a small country who are friends with all, but we cannot deny that we share borders with India. We share similar security concerns. India has always helped us. They have been helping us even in the defence sector with capacity building, providing us with equipment, and trying to make us more self-sufficient,"Mariya Ahmed Didi said.

She said that Maldives and India are like-minded in their quest for democracy and respect for human rights. "It's a very short-sightedness on the part of the present government to really think that we can really try to not keep the age-old relationship that we have always had with India..." she said.

A massive row was triggered last week as Maldives deputy minister, along with other cabinet members and government officials, made disparaging and unsavoury references to PM Modi's Lakshadweep visit.
Meanwhile, the former Maldives Defence Minister said "... India has been our 911 call, whenever we need it, we give a call and you all come to our rescue. That kind of a friend. When you see such disparaging remarks about friends like this, it is sad for everyone concerned."

She underscored the importance of maintaining the age-old relationship with India and expressed concerns about the negative impact of such remarks on the friendship between the two nations.

Also watch: China a valued ally and integral collaborator: Maldives President

Former Maldives Defence Minister said that considering our close friendship, neighboring status, and participation in the global community, it is essential to uphold our international commitments.

She noted the historical "India first" policy and hoped for its continuation, recognizing India as the nearest neighbor that has consistently provided support in times of need.


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