Maldives invites PM Modi for oath-taking ceremony of President-elect Muizzu
New Delhi, Nov 9 (PTI) The Maldives has invited Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the oath-taking of Maldivian President-elect Mohamed Muizzu, but New Delhi is yet to take a decision on the level of its representation at the ceremony, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said on Thursday.
Widely seen as a pro-China leader, Muizzu is set to take charge as the Maldivian president on November 17.
'We have received the invitation for the prime minister to attend that (oath-taking ceremony). I will let you know once we have a decision on who will represent us and in what capacity,' MEA Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said.
'As of now, we do not have any further information to share on that,' he added.
Last month, India said it was looking forward to engaging 'constructively' with the incoming administration of Muizzu, days after he said moving the Indian military personnel out of the island nation was one of his top priorities.
Muizzu defeated incumbent President Ibrahim Solih in the presidential runoff in September.
The Maldives is one of India's key maritime neighbours in the Indian Ocean region and the overall bilateral ties, including in the areas of defence and security, have been on an upward trajectory in the last few years.
Solih was consistently focusing on boosting ties with India and pursuing an 'India First' policy.
In May, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh visited the Maldives and handed over a fast patrol vessel and a landing craft to the island nation.
In August last year, Modi and Solih kick-started the India-funded Greater Male Connectivity Project (GMCP), billed as the largest infrastructure initiative in the Maldives.
Under the GMCP, a 6.74-km-long bridge and causeway link will be built to connect Maldivian capital Male with the adjoining islands of Villingli, Gulhifalhu and Thilafushi. PTI MPB RC
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