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Maldives President Declares No Hydrographic Surveying With India

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President Mohamed Muizzu has declared that the Maldives will not extend its hydrographic surveying arrangement with India and that they intend to purchase the equipment and facilities needed to complete the task on their own.

Muizzu also declared that, in spite of the Maldives’ enormous territory, his nation is attempting to set up a round-the-clock surveillance system for its waters this month in order to maintain control over its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

The event happened a few days after China and the Maldives inked a defense cooperation deal wherein China will give the Maldives free military support in an effort to promote “stronger” bilateral ties.

The relationship between India and the Maldives has deteriorated since pro-China Muizzu became the president last year. Muizzu promised to uphold the sovereignty of the Maldives shortly after taking office in November 2023, and one of his first actions was to ask India to withdraw its troops by March this year.

Days before Muizzu’s declaration, a Chinese research vessel circumnavigated the Maldives for over a month and spent nearly a week near Male.

Speaking at a ceremony on Monday at one of the islands he was visiting, Muizzu stated that the Maldives Ministry of Defence is working to get the infrastructure needed to carry out the hydrographic surveys within the nation. “This will allow Maldives to conduct the underwater surveys of the country by ourselves. We will then acquire all insights of our underwater features and prepare charts, they will be drawn by us,” the president was quoted as saying by Edition.mv, a news portal on Tuesday.

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