At the inauguration ceremony at the national soccer stadium in Male, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the highest-ranking visitor while China was represented by a low-ranking minister
New Delhi: In a major diplomatic victory over China in the Indian Ocean Region, India emerged as the tallest friend of the new establishment of the island nation at the swearing-in ceremony of the new President Ibrahim Mohammed Saleh, even as he talked about big loss and corruption in infrastructure projects which have mainly been done with the Chinese state-run companies.
The anti-Chinese voice could also be heard from the new administration's backers including former Maldivian President Mohammed Nasheed who has already stated that there would be a forensic audit of the Chinese-supported infrastructure projects which have resulted in huge debts on the smallest country in Asia.
The defeat of Abdulla Yameen, who was working closely with China and against Indian interests in Male, is also being seen as a major victory for India in its neighbourhood which is being poached by the Chinese for creating strategic outposts on the world's busiest sea lanes for trade and commerce.
At the inauguration ceremony at the national soccer stadium in Male, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the highest-ranking visitor while China was represented by a low-ranking minister.
India's importance at the event could be seen from arrangements at the venue as when PM Modi arrived there, the band started playing hindi song 'Aap Aaye Bahaar Aayi' (Your arrival is accompanied by good times).
चीनी मदद से बना और विवादों में घिरा मालदीव-चाइना फ्रेंडशिप ब्रिज।मालदीव पहुंचने पर पीएम नरेंद्र मोदी इसी रास्ते माले जाएंगे।संयोग है कि सितंबर2018 में भारतीय राजदूत इस सेतु के उद्घाटन समारोह में शरीक तक नहीं हुए थे वहीं मोदी इसका इस्तेमाल करने वाले पहले विदेशी शासनाध्यक्ष होंगे। pic.twitter.com/WlZDyHMJk1— Pranay Upadhyaya (@JournoPranay) November 17, 2018
At the venue also, Modi was seated between former Presidents Nasheed and Mamoon Abdul Gayoom. In the speech of the new President also, India was the only nation mentioned and India was the only country whose head of the state was invited by the island nation.
Sources in Male said the entire atmosphere in capital was on India-Maldives brotherhood. Immediately after the swearing-in, Solih held a bilateral meeting with India to seek support for the economic crisis faced by it and also provide assistance in development projects.
In the joint statement, PM Modi assured every possible help from India to male and also requested to give opportunities to Indian industry to work there. To discuss the development projects, the new foreign minister of the island nation would also be visiting India on November 26 which would be his maiden visit abroad.
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Last Updated Nov 18, 2018, 1:44 PM IST