Incumbent President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, also the candidate of the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), has firmly denied that any foreign personnel are conducting military activities within the Maldivian territory. The President clarified his stance during the Presidential Debate, co-hosted by Sangu TV and Public Service Media (PSM).

In the segment dedicated to foreign policy, rival candidates questioned the integrity of President Solih’s foreign policy decisions. They accused him of compromising national sovereignty by allegedly permitting the Indian military to operate within the Maldivian borders.

In response, President Solih dismissed these allegations as mere campaign tactics. He said that no foreign military operations are underway within the territorial confines of the Maldives. “There are neither current nor historical instances of foreign soldiers conducting military activities on Maldivian soil,” he stated.

President Solih explained that the Indian military, along with other strategic defence partners such as Sri Lanka, the United States, and even the United Kingdom, participate in joint military exercises with the Maldivian forces. He underscored that such collaborations are routine bilateral activities, consistent with the practices of his predecessors.

Elaborating on his foreign policy objectives, President Solih reasserted that they align with the best interests of the Maldives. He emphasised a policy framework founded on the principles of upholding democracy, advocating human rights, protecting the Maldives’ fragile ecosystems, and promoting action on climate change.

The President also highlighted advancements in the Maldives’ diplomatic relations under his tenure. He noted a marked increase in the number of countries with which the Maldives now enjoys diplomatic ties and spoke of re-established relations with Middle Eastern countries and multilateral organisations, including the Commonwealth—a relationship severed by his predecessor.

Concluding his remarks, President Solih stated that his administration adheres to an “India First” and “One China” policy, while assuring that he has no intention of alienating Western partners. He vowed to continue improving relations with all of the Maldives’ strategic partners.