Will the new President alter Maldives’ ‘India first’ foreign policy? | In Focus podcast

Meera Srinivasan joins us to talk about Muizzu’s campaign against Indian military presence, the potential shift in the Maldives’ foreign policy towards China, and the strategic implications for India following Solih’s departure from power.

Published - November 03, 2023 07:01 pm IST

Maldives has elected a new President, Mohamed Muizzu from the Progressive Party of Maldives. In the elections that concluded in September, he defeated the incumbent, Ibrahim Mohamed Solih of the Maldivian Democratic Party.

The elections were also viewed by many as a referendum on the country’s foreign policy. While Solih was perceived as pro-India, Muizzu is seen as pro-China. One of the main election promises made by Muizzu was to end any Indian military presence on Maldivian territory. Muizzu is set to formally take office on November 17.

What prompted Muizzu to build his poll campaign around opposition to Indian military presence in Maldives? Will Maldives foreign policy now take a pro-China tilt? And for India, what are the strategic implications of Solih’s exit from power?

Guest: Meera Srinivasan, The Hindu’s Sri Lanka correspondent, who also reports on Maldives

Host: G Sampath, Social Affairs Editor, The Hindu

Edited by Jude Francis Weston

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