Maldives tourism association condemns derogatory statements against PM Modi

New Delhi: Amid the ongoing diplomatic row between India and the Maldives, the tourism industry in the island has strongly condemned derogatory remarks made by its now suspended ministers against Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Terming India as one of the closest neighbours and allies of the Maldives, the Maldives Association of Tourism Industry (MATI) noted that India has always been a first responder to various crises throughout the history of the island country.
“India is one of our closest neighbours and allies. India has always been a first responder to various crises throughout our history and we are immensely grateful to the close relationship that the government as well as the people of India have maintained with us,” it said in a statement.
It stressed that India has been a “consistent and significant contributor to the tourism industry of the Maldives.” It stated that India has “greatly assisted” Maldives recovery efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic after the borders were reopened.
”India has continued to remain as one of the top markets for the Maldives. It is our sincere wish that the close relationship between our two nations endures for generations to come and as such, we refrain from actions or speech that may have any negative impact on our good relationship,” the statement added.
A massive row erupted between India and the Maldives after three Maldivian ministers made derogatory comments about PM Modi’s social media posts on ‘X’ after his visit to Lakshadweep.
In a post which was subsequently deleted, the Maldivian Deputy Minister of Youth Empowerment, Mariyam Shiuna, made a mocking and disrespectful reference to PM Modi, followed by unsavoury comments by two other ministers.
The Maldives government distanced itself from the remarks and suspended the three ministers. The Maldivian envoy on Monday was called to the foreign office in New Delhi to convey India’s strong concern over the remarks made by the neighbouring country’s ministers. Indian High Commissioner to Maldives Munu Mahawar on Monday also held a “pre-arranged meeting” with Mr Ali Naseer Mohamed, Ambassador at Large, at the Maldivian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Male.
Several Indian celebrities have, meanwhile, come out in support of promoting Indian beach destinations and other tourist spots.

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