Maldives’ leader confirms attendance at Indian PM’s swearing-in ceremony

Indian High Commissioner Munu Mahawar (L) presents the invitation to attend Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's swearing-in ceremony to Maldivian President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu (R). (Photo/President's Office)

President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu has accepted the invitation extended to him to attend the swearing-in ceremony of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The President’s Office confirmed President Muizzu’s attendance in a statement on Saturday morning.

According to the office, the letter of invitation was presented to President Muizzu by Indian High Commissioner Munu Mahawar during a courtesy call.

At the call, Mahawar extended greetings from PM Modi, stating that the Indian prime minister looks forward to have President Muizzu attend the momentous ceremony, in which he will be sworn in for a record-equaling third term.

President Muizzu expressed his gratitude to PM Modi for the invitation, adding that he would be honored to attend the historic event.

He said that he looks forward to working with PM Modi to further strengthen the close relations with India.

He added that Maldives-India relations is heading in the positive direction, as would be demonstrated by the visit.

The president thanked the high commissioner for personally delivering the invitation.

The upcoming visit comes amid heightened tensions between Male’ and New Delhi, after President Muizzu demanded Indiawithdraw its troops from the country, and after three deputy ministers made disparaging social media comments about PM Modi and India.

PM Modi, along with the council of ministers, will be sworn into office in a ceremony held at Rashtrapati Bhavan in Delhi, on Sunday evening.

PM Modi’s BJP won 240 seats in the election, several seats short of the 272 required, to get a majority in India's 543-member parliament. However, two key BJP allies, the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), and the Janata Dal United (JDU), won 16 and 12 seats each, in their respective states, pushing the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) comfortably over the half-way mark.

73-year-old Modi has been serving as India’s prime minister since 2014.