The Mohamed Muizzu administration moved to squash allegations by the opposition that the President had signed an agreement with China involving Makunudhoo Island in Haa Dhaalu Atoll (HDh) during his recent visit to the country. No such agreements were signed, Minister at the President’s Office for Strategic Communications Ibrahim Khaleel said.

Talk of a military deal first surfaced and circulated on social media, after which the Chairperson of the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) Fayyaz Ismail, at an opposition rally held on 11 January, accused the administration of signing 30 agreements with China, dismissing the administration’s stated signing of 20 Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs), and further alleging that an agreement relating to HDh Makunudhoo was also signed.

“Our people want to know what he signed with China about Makunudhoo. We want to see who he is trying to give the Makunudhoo area to and who he is trying to bring after jettisoning everyone from Boduthilandhumathi to Fushidhiggaru,” Fayyaz said.

When asked about Fayyaz’s allegation, Khaleel said all MoUs with China were aimed at the development of the people and the country.

“No agreement was made regarding a particular island,” Khaleel said.

While, according to Khaleel, there was no agreement regarding Makunudhoo, the administration has not specified the agreement Minister of Defence Mohamed Ghassan Maumoon signed during the President’s visit to China.

Khaleel said details of the MoUs would be announced by the administration and that President Muizzu would brief the press. He did not specify, however, when details would be announced.