Former President Nasheed, the current Speaker of the People’s Majlis, said that a foreign military presence was no cause for concern, as many countries in today’s interconnected world host foreign military personnel.
Nasheed said this in a Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) WhatsApp group following the MDP’s Malé City Councilmember Ahmed Zameer’s signing of the Defend Maldives petition. Nasheed said that MDP members should always strive for what is best for the Maldivian people; since India was the Maldives’ close neighbour ally, it would be best for the Maldives to abandon neutrality and align itself with India.
“Many countries in the world host foreign militaries. It is no cause for concern in today’s interconnected world”, wrote Nasheed.
During the Yameen administration, Nasheed had publicly called for India to launch a military intervention in the Maldives. During the Solih administration, which saw the signing of several classified agreements which stationed Indian military personnel in the Maldives; Nasheed has repeatedly defended the government’s actions.
In 2019, Nasheed had said that the sighting of an Indian military officer in Ihavandhoo (Haa Alifu Atoll) was a “sign of great good”.
The latest in the series of military agreements signed by the Solih administration concerned the development of a harbour at Uthuru Thila Falhu. According to the government, the agreement allows for the stationing of Indian “technicians” for a period of 15 years. The government has refused to disclose the organisation or institution to which these “technicians” belong, and has been unable to explain why foreign technicians are needed to maintain a harbour and dockyard for 15 years.