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Former Vice President of Maldives Adeeb urges government to apologize and talk directly to PM Modi

Former Vice President Ahmed Adeeb on Monday said the Maldives government should have apologized and President Mohammed Muizzu should have reached out to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and resolved the diplomatic crisis, calling the derogatory comments against the Indian leader “unacceptable”. Last week, a controversy broke out on social media when a Maldivian minister and some other leaders made derogatory remarks against Prime Minister Modi after he posted a video of him on a pristine beach in Lakshadweep.

On Sunday, the Maldives government suspended three ministers who posted “derogatory comments” against Modi and distanced itself from their comments on social media, saying these opinions are “personal and do not represent the views of the government.” “Don’t do it.”

The development came after opposition leaders criticized the “horrible language” used by officials against the Indian leader.

“I believe this is something that should never have happened, which is not acceptable in any way. I believe the Maldivian government should have responded more quickly with stronger action. Should have and should have reached out to India so that they should never have exposed it to a major diplomatic crisis which has happened now…” Adeeb told PTI in an interview.

Terming the comments as “undesirable”, he said these were “extremist elements” in the ruling party who were calling for India’s ouster. Former tourism minister Adeeb said, “But when you are in government, you should be more responsible because you are responsible for the livelihood of the people of Maldives and you should be diplomatic in such matters.”

Asked to comment on the suspension of the three ministers, Adeeb said, “They should have resigned… There should have been more stringent action and it should have been done on Sunday morning itself, but it was delayed till last night.” ” Adeeb said the government “should have filed an apology and also President Muizzu should have reached out to Prime Minister Modi. Because these are not acceptable comments, it is racist and it is bigotry.” He said the derogatory comments have hurt the sentiments of Indians “because Prime Minister Modi is not only the Prime Minister of India, but he is the global leader, regional leader, and he has helped us even during the time of Covid. Even in 2007, Maldives survived. The economy survived because of Indian support and help. So I think the President himself should have reached out to the Prime Minister and resolved this diplomatic crisis,” he said, noting that India is in a post-Covid crisis. For the Maldives, which has become a major tourism market, he said the crisis would harm Maldivian tourism.

“This will obviously cause harm. And when tourism suffers, it has a direct impact on the economy, because the economy is also fragile and completely dependent on tourism. So we need to resolve this as soon as possible and More action must be taken…” added.

When asked whether Maldives is now moving closer to China and distancing itself from India, he said, “Yes, I see that they are distancing themselves from India. In the last 60 days This is what has been observed.” President Muizu, considered “pro-China”, is in China on a five-day state visit, during which he is to hold talks with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping and sign a number of agreements to strengthen bilateral ties.

“We will know which direction it will go because we will have to see what agreements they are going to sign. What decisions are they going to take?” The former Vice President said while commenting on the President’s ongoing visit to China.

He suggested the present government to balance its foreign policy.

“We cannot be unilateral. We have to be more balanced and more friendly with all countries and especially our neighbors so that we can move forward. India is going to be a 5 trillion economy, and I think Maldives, I believe. “What Maldives should do is to stand shoulder to shoulder with India in its economic development as well as the development of its people.”

Maldives is India’s key maritime neighbor in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) and holds a special place in its initiatives like SAGAR (Security and Growth for All in the Region) and the Neighbors First policy of the Modi government.

The latest controversy began just ahead of Muizzu’s first state visit to China.

Muizzu has asked India to withdraw 77 Indian military personnel from Maldives and his government has also decided to review over 100 bilateral agreements between the two countries.

(This story is published as part of an auto-generated syndicated wire feed. Apart from the headline, there have been no edits to the copy by ABP Live.)

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