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Maldives' US Envoy Identifies India, US And China As Crucial Allies

The Maldives regards all major powers in the Indo-Pacific as crucial partners and emphasizes the importance of regional stability, stated its ambassador to Washington. This comes after earlier concerns were raised by India and the US following defense agreements signed with China. Abdul Ghafoor Mohamed emphasized that following Maldives Foreign Minister Moosa Zameer’s recent visit […]

Maldives' US Envoy Identifies India, US And China As Crucial Allies
Maldives' US Envoy Identifies India, US And China As Crucial Allies

The Maldives regards all major powers in the Indo-Pacific as crucial partners and emphasizes the importance of regional stability, stated its ambassador to Washington. This comes after earlier concerns were raised by India and the US following defense agreements signed with China.

Abdul Ghafoor Mohamed emphasized that following Maldives Foreign Minister Moosa Zameer’s recent visit to Washington, their country holds a crucial geographic position and recognizes its duty to preserve a “free, peaceful, and stable Indian Ocean.”

Zameer visited Washington two months after Maldives President Mohamed Muizzu’s party won big in parliamentary elections. Muizzu has shifted focus towards China, sidelining India, a key U.S. regional ally against Beijing’s regional influence. During the visit, Zameer met with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who emphasized Washington’s interest in strengthening ties.

Ghafoor clarified he lacked details on Maldives’ defense pacts with China, downplaying concerns over their impact on others.

He said, “We sincerely deal with other countries and therefore we expect other countries to be dealing with the Maldives sincerely … I don’t think there are any hidden agendas in this at all.” “We would not do anything that would harm or create problems in the region … because as a small country very much reliant on tourism, peace, and stability, not only in the Indian Ocean but also globally, is important to us.”

On how the Maldives, a low-lying archipelago of about half a million people, balanced its ties with India, China, and the US, he said, “We consider all of them are partners … all these countries are of importance to us, and they help us.”

In May, India had replaced 80 soldiers in the Maldives with civilians after Muizzu’s “India out” campaign.

Ghafoor mentioned that despite challenges, relations with India were “quite positive” and showing improvement, anticipating a visit soon from India’s external relations minister.

He also highlighted that U.S.-Maldives relations had strengthened significantly, noting the recent opening of embassies in each other’s capitals. He added that the Maldives economic minister is scheduled to visit the U.S. next month to discuss a trade and investment framework agreement.

He stated that the Maldives seeks more U.S. investment, particularly in tourism, which attracted around 76,000 U.S. visitors last year.

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CHINAHighlights Crucial AlliesIndiaMaldives US EnvoyTDGThe Daily GuardianUS