Stop Being Stubborn, Seek Dialogue With Neighbours…: Ex-Maldives President Solih To Muizzu


Male: Former Maldives President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has advised President Mohamed Muizzu to stop being “stubborn” and seek dialogue with neighbouring nations to overcome financial challenges, Maldives-based Adhadhu reported.

While addressing an event in Male to gather support for Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) parliamentary candidates contesting four constituencies in Maafannu, Ibrahim Mohamed Solih said he had seen media reports that indicate Muizzu wants to speak to India about debt restructuring.

He further said that the financial challenges of the country have not been caused by Indian loans. Solih noted that the Maldives owed a debt of MVR 18 billion to China while the nation has a debt of MVR 8 billion owed to India and added that the repayment period is 25 years, according to the report in that Adhadhu news portal.

“However, I am confident that our neighbors will help. We must stop being stubborn and seek dialogue. There are many parties that can help us. But he [Muizzu] doesn’t want to compromise. I feel they [the government] are starting to understand the situation only now,” he stated.

Solih said that neighbours and Islamic nations from the Middle East will help the Maldives. In a sarcastic tone, he said that the Maldives has so far received only 50 tonnes of dates from the Middle East due to the actions of the Muizzu-led government, Adhadhu reported.

He accused the Maldives’ current government of deceiving people and relaunching projects started by the MDP government. He accused ministers of lying to cover up those lies.
Solih said, “It seems they [ministers] were summoned two days ago and he [Muizzu] said ‘I have become a liar in front of the people now. None of you care about me.”

Notably, ties between India and the Maldives have been strained since Muizzu assumed office as he criticised New Delhi during and after the presidential polls.
Last week, Maldives President Mohamed Muizzu has requested New Delhi for debt relief measures, while stating that India will continue to remain Maldives’ “closest ally,” local media reported.

He further claimed that he has “not taken any action nor made any statements” that may strain the relationship between the two countries. In an interview with local media ‘Mihaaru’, President Muizzu said that he hopes India will accommodate debt relief measures for the Maldives’ in the repayment of the hefty loans taken from the country over consecutive governments, Adhadhu reported.

“The conditions we have inherited are such that there are very large loans taken from India. Hence, we are holding discussions to explore leniencies in the repayment structure of these loans. Instead of halting any ongoing projects, proceed with them at speed. So I see no reason for any adverse effects [on Maldives-India relations],” he said.
Notably, this was Maldives President Muizzu’s first interview since assuming office.


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