Maldives hits out at attempts to spread false information using ‘India Out’ slogan
The Maldivian government said India has always been its closest ally and trusted neighbour
The Maldivian government has strongly rejected attempts to spread false information through media and across social media platforms using the so-called ‘India Out’ slogan, alleging that bilateral cooperation between the Governments of Maldives and India undermines the national security and sovereignty of Maldives.
A strongly-worded statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Maldives on Wednesday said that India has always been Maldives’ closest ally and trusted neighbour, extending constant and consistent support to the people of Maldives on all fronts.
“The Government reaffirms that the country’s long-standing ties with all its international partners are based on principles of mutual respect and understanding, and in accordance with respective national and international law,” it pointed out.
“Such interactions in the international sphere does not, and will not undermine the Maldives' independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity,” the statement said.
“In fact, they are designed to enhance the Maldives’ national interests, and deliver for the people of the Maldives,” it added.
“As such, the Government believes that false allegations regarding ties with one of the country’s key bilateral partners, are misguided and unsubstantiated,” the statement clarified.
It mentioned that the “Government firmly believes that these views are not the sentiments of the general public, but rather that of a small group of individuals with the objective of tarnishing the country’s long-standing cordial ties with India.”
According to the statement, the strong bilateral relationship between the Maldives and India is based on shared historical and cultural ties, matched by dynamic people to people contact.
“The cooperation and support provided by the Government of India, specifically on issues of maritime security, is aimed at strengthening the strategic partnership between the two countries and to ensure the safety and stability of the Indian Ocean region,” it stated further.
“Support provided by India, on areas such as search and rescue capabilities, casualty evacuation, coastal surveillance, and maritime reconnaissance, directly benefit the Maldivian people,” it noted.
The Government of Maldives has also established partnerships with other countries in similar areas of cooperation, to enhance technical and strategic capacities, the statement clarified.
“Addressing the ever-growing threats of trans-boarder terrorism, piracy, narco-trafficking as well as non-traditional security threats such as climate change, cyber security and human trafficking, requires the support and cooperation of all regional and international partners. No one country alone can address these issues on its own,” it maintained.
“The Government of Maldives urges all parties to act responsibly, and refrain from spreading false information that undermines the country’s relations with its neighbours, and the international community. The Government urges media outlets to fully commit to professional standards of journalism in reporting such information,” the statement said.
“The Government of Maldives would also like to take this opportunity to reiterate the gratitude of the Government and the people of the Maldives for the countless assistance provided by India over the years, particularly, on instances such as the 1988 mercenary attack on the country, the 2004 Asian Tsunami, the 2015 Male’ water crisis and during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” it stated.
India will always remain a true and a trusted friend of the people of the Maldives, the statement claimed further.