India’s Minister of External Affairs (MEA), Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, has congratulated his Maldivian counterpart, Moosa Zameer, on his appointment to President Mohamed Muizzu’s cabinet.

“[I] Congratulate @MoosaZameer [Zameer] on your appointment as the Foreign Minister of Maldives. Look forward to working closely with you to further 🇮🇳 🇲🇻 special relationship,” Jaishankar had said in a post to social media.

Zameer in turn reiterated the new administration’s commitment to maintaining a mutually beneficial working relationship with India.

“I look forward to working with you on issues of mutual interest and concern, and to recalibrate and advance the time-tested relationship between our two countries for the betterment of our people,” Zameer responded in a message of appreciation to Jaishankar, while indicating that even as Delhi should expect a shift in Maldives’ foreign policy to a more centred approach, the relationship with India would remain an important priority.

While a key thrust of President Muizzu’s election campaign was focused on removing any long term foreign military presence from the Maldives, the Muizzu administration has continued to reiterate a more balanced foreign policy that would seek to reprioritise national interest in terms of regional and global geopolitics, without alienating current bilateral, and multilateral, partners.

President Muizzu’s first 100 days roadmap includes the elimination of the long term presence of foreign troops from the country, signalling a re-establishing of a regional and global presence devoid of the shadows of foreign influence over the nation. The president has also continued to highlight his intent to remove any clause, from all agreements, that may cast doubt on the Maldives’ sovereignty and independence that the Solih administration may have entered into with other foreign powers.

President Muizzu made several significant political appointments after being sworn in on Friday; appointing 22 Cabinet Ministers, including the Attorney General, as well as making appointments to key political positions at the President’s Office.

The country’s new top diplomat, Zameer, had previously served as the Minister of Tourism during the Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom administration, having also served as a Member of Parliament.