Muizzu: Maldives too small to get involved in India-China conflict

President-Elect Dr Mohamed Muizzu with the Indian Ambassador to Maldives. (Photo/ELIYZ)

President-elect Dr. Mohamed Muizzu has remarked that the Maldives is too small to get involved in the longstanding conflict between India and China.

In an interview with English media giant BBC, Muizzu said the people of Maldives did not wish for militias of a foreign nation to remain on Maldivian soil. 

He further said the presence of Indian troops in the country could put Maldives in danger, especially amid tensions in the Himalayan border region between India and China.

“I met the Indian ambassador and I told him very clearly that the Indian troops in Maldives must leave the country,” said Muizzu, who will be sworn into office as the president of Maldives on November 17th. 

The president-elect also expressed his wish to review all agreements executed between the governments of Maldives and India.

"I don't know the contents of the agreements. Some parliamentarians, during debate, have also said they were unaware of the contents. I am confident we can look into it," Muizzu said.

President-Elect Dr Mohamed Muizzu with the Chinese Ambassador to Maldives. (Photo/ELIYZ)

Foreign media outlets describe Muizzu as someone who is "pro-China", often dubbed "China's candidate" during the presidential elections. This label is attributed to the heavy reliance on China during the earlier administration of the PPM-PNC coalition. Major infrastructure projects such as the Sinamale' Bridge, the first of its kind in the Maldives, and the development of 7,000 flats were implemented with assistance from China. Loans for these projects were withdrawn from Chinese banks while the projects were contracted to Chinese companies. Muizzu had been the head of the ministry overseeing these projects. 

Muizzu, in response to these allegations, said that he is "pro-Maldives".

"The country will come first for me. Our freedom comes first, I am not for or against any country,” Muizzu said.