By Ibrahim H. Shihab/Maldives Republic
Male, November 11: India is yet to decide on who will attend Maldivian President-elect Mohamed Muizzu’s Inauguration on November 17 as India’s representative, the Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said.
MEA Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi was quoted as saying that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had been invited to attend the inauguration but India had not yet decided who will attend, or in which capacity.
The President-elect’s office had earlier said that invitations had been sent to foreign leaders, including those from all countries in the region, to attend the inauguration.
The Spokesperson at the Office of the President-elect, Mohamed Firuzul Abdulla Khaleel had earlier referred to media reports that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was among the invitees, clarifying that invitations were extended to nations, and that those nations included India.
“This invitation is for the country, not for any particular person in the country. Especially in cases where more than one person may be considered a leader, for example, a President [as a head of state] or prime minister [as a head of government],” Khaleel said, speaking to local media.
“India Out” had been a slogan and rallying call for the opposition during Muizzu’s presidential campaign, echoing the sentiments of a large portion of the population, for the withdrawal of Indian troops from the Maldives. Muizzu has reiterated his belief, both during his campaign and after being elected, that the permanent or long term presence of Indian troops, and other foreign troops, posed a significant threat to the nation’s sovereignty.
Modi had congratulated Muizzu on his victory on social media, saying India and Maldives would continue to strengthen their long-standing ties.