Maldives Denies Report of Setting Up Indian Base In Return For Aid

The Maldives government has denied media reports stating that India had offered $1 billion to the country in exchange for the deployment of Indian troops in the island nation, news agency ANI reported.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs Abdulla Shahid said that the Maldivian territory would not be used for the establishment of any foreign military bases.

Shahid posted on Twitter:

"Government assures the people that it will always act in the national interest of the Maldives and will not undertake any international engagement that will compromise the sovereignty and independence of the country," he added.

In a statement, the Maldivian Ministry of Foreign affairs said:

“The Government of Maldives categorically refutes media reports alleging that it is planning to allow the establishment of an Indian military base in the Maldives, in exchange for financial assistance or other material benefits. The allegations are baseless, and aimed at discrediting the efforts of the Government as it starts to rebuild good relations with its neighbours and the rest of the international community.”

The Maldives government was reacting to a news article published in a Japanese Daily, NIKKEI Asian Review, which stated that India offered the Maldives $1 billion in exchange for stronger security ties.

After the ouster of pro-China authoritarian Yameen in the recent presidential election, new President Ibrahim Solih will travel to India on 17 December on his first overseas visit since assuming office this month.

Earlier, during his oath-taking ceremony PM Modi was the highest-ranking foreign leader present at the National Stadium in Male and the two leaders had a meeting soon after, The Tribune reported.

(With inputs from ANI, The Tribune.)

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