Maldivian Democratic Party Welcomes the Maldives Government’s “India First” Policy

The Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) notes with much satisfaction and warmly welcomes President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom’s commitment to an ‘India First’ policy as reported in the statement issued by the Indian External Affairs Ministry, following recently held meeting between the Maldives President and Her Excellency Sushma Swaraj, Minister of External Affairs of India, during the latter’s visit to the Maldives from 10-11 October, 2015. As the largest democracy in the world, and our closest neighbor in the Indian Ocean, who has steadfastly extended its unstinting friendship, assistance and cooperation to the Maldives in its every hour of need, MDP has always highly valued the important and critical role India plays in its neighbourhood. It is disappointing that none of the statements issued by the Maldives Government has emphasized this important u-turn in President Yameen’s foreign policy.

The MDP has viewed with great concern the growing rift between the two neighbours and close friends in recent times, especially during the presidency of Yameen Abdul Gayoom. Indeed, MDP believes that the Maldives national interests have been considerably damaged by the President’s dubious policy of trying to exploit a perceived India – China rivalry in the Indian Ocean. During his address to the Maldives nation on 11 November 2014, on the occasion of the Repuplic Day, President Yameen stated,

“Our Government’s thinking is changing towards the East. As our Government’s thinking turns towards the East, the reality of the 21st Century that we must accept is that the fastest growing economy today is China. Hence, it is after a lot of thought, after much research that the Government of Maldives has decided to participate in China’s Silk Route. And because we believe that the multimillion dollar investments that we need to take our economy forward will come through this door”.

The MDP thanks the Indian External Affairs Minister for meeting with the MDP Parliamentary Group Leader, Hon. Ibrahim Mohamed Solih during her visit. MDP would like to reiterate its firm commitment of support to India’s bid for a permanent seat on the UN Security Council as was assured by former President Mohamed Nasheed and Leader of the Maldivian Democratic Party, during his term of office. MDP welcomes President Yameen’s announcement to stand by this decision and hopes that it will deliver on its promise of support at the time of voting.

The MDP looks forward to the resurgence of vitality in the bonds of friendship that have always characterised the relations between two countries.

12 October 2015