India-Maldives row | Politics is politics, can’t guarantee every country will support us, says Jaishankar

A diplomatic row was triggered between India and Maldives after three Maldivian leaders posted derogatory remarks against PM Modi and mocked him over his trip to Lakshadweep

Updated - January 14, 2024 01:26 pm IST

Published - January 14, 2024 11:10 am IST - Nagpur (Maharashtra)

External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar speaks on the topic ‘Bharat’s Rise in Geopolitics’ during the Manthan: Townhall meeting, at Kaviguru Kalidas Auditorium in Nagpur.

External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar speaks on the topic ‘Bharat’s Rise in Geopolitics’ during the Manthan: Townhall meeting, at Kaviguru Kalidas Auditorium in Nagpur. | Photo Credit: ANI

While shedding light on the India-Maldives row, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar on January 13 asserted that "politics is politics" and it can't be guaranteed that every country will support or agree with India every time.

EAM Jaishankar was speaking at the Manthan: Townhall meeting in Nagpur, Maharashtra, on Saturday.

"Politics is politics. I cannot guarantee that in every country, every day, everybody will support us or agree with us," he said. Moreover, he said that in the last 10 years, India has been trying to build a very strong connection with the world.

Also read: View From India | India’s Maldives challenge

"But, seriously, as a solution, what we have been trying to do in the last 10 years, with a lot of success, is to build a very strong connect, so that, though the politics may go up and down, the people of the country, the society, generally have good feelings towards India and understand the importance of having good relations with India," EAM added.

Politics is politics: S Jaishankar breaks silence on India-Maldives row

Mr. Jaishankar further stated that India has been engaged in infrastruture development in other countries."We are involved today in building roads, electricity, transmission, supplying fuel, providing trade access, making investments, and having people holiday in other countries," he added, stressing that "all these are parts of how you develop those relationships."

"Sometimes, things do not go in a good way, and then you have to reason with people to bring things back to where they should be," Mr. Jaishankar emphasised.

A diplomatic row was triggered between India and Maldives after three Maldivian leaders, Malsha Shareef, Mariyam Shiuna and Abdulla Mahzoom Majid, posted derogatory remarks against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and mocked him over his recent trip to Lakshadweep.

The matter was strongly raised by India, with Male and the top Opposition leaders of the island nation slamming the ruling establishment over the row.

Further, the Maldives is facing a boycott from Indian tourists, one of its biggest sources of tourism income, following the incident.

Watch | What led to the #BoycottMaldives call?

Amid an outpouring of anger on social media over the disparaging references to PM Modi, with #BoycottMaldives a top trend across online forums, leading faces from the Indian film industry as well as top celebrities came out in support of the call to promote beach tourism in Lakshadweep and elsewhere.

In the face of the online furore, the Maldivian Government distanced itself from the remarks against PM Modi.

Maldivian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Moosa Zameer, said such remarks against foreign leaders are 'unacceptable' and do not reflect the official position of the government. However, taking strong exception to the remarks, New Delhi summoned the Maldivian envoy and registered a strong protest.

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