The United States has reiterated its commitment to providing support for the Maldives in upholding peace, security, and sovereignty. The assurance came during a meeting between President Mohamed Muizzu and Admiral John Aquilino, the Commander of the United States Indo-Pacific Command.

During the meeting held at the President’s Office on Sunday, President Muizzu expressed his appreciation to the United States for assisting the Maldives in capacity building by providing training opportunities for Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) personnel, the President’s Office said in a statement.

Commander Admiral John Aquilino reiterated the United States’ continued assistance in strengthening the Maldives defense force, according to the statement. He also remarked on the longstanding relationship between the Maldives and the United States and expressed interest in exploring new areas of further cooperation.

The meeting came just a week after President Muizzu returned from his first state visit to China and amid a diplomatic row between the Maldives and India.

In a joint statement issued at the end of Muizzu’s visit, China said it “firmly supports the Maldives in upholding its national sovereignty, independence and national dignity, respects and supports the Maldives’ exploration of a development path that suits its national conditions, and firmly opposes external interference in the internal affairs of the Maldives.”