Maldives ministers’ comments against Modi not good for the neighborhood:Belgian PM

Former Belgian Prime Minister Yves Leterme has condemned the derogatory comments made by suspended Maldivian ministers against Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, calling them a violation of good neighborly principles and underscoring the importance of mutual respect and restraint in expression.

Expressing his views on the matter, Leterme highlighted the importance of managing geopolitical friction peacefully through mutual understanding.

“The comments (of the Maldivian ministers) are against the principles of good neighbourliness. Good neighborliness includes respecting each other, maintaining restraint and expressing oneself in a very restrained manner,” he said on the sidelines of an event.

Leterme expressed hope that geopolitical disputes in the region could be resolved peacefully.

He said, “In geopolitics, tectonic waves are at work, creating friction. I hope that all these frictions can be managed peacefully through mutual understanding. People will handle incidents with a respectful approach ” Can do.”

Diplomatic tension erupted between India and Maldives on Sunday after three deputy ministers of the Maldives government made derogatory posts against Modi.

After India strongly raised the issue with Male, the Maldives government immediately suspended Deputy Ministers Malsha Sharif, Mariam Shiuna and Abdulla Mahzoom Majeed.

The three deputy ministers had used derogatory comments against Modi for his post on ‘X’ after his visit to Lakshadweep, implying that it was an attempt to promote the Union Territory as an alternative tourist destination to the Maldives.

These comments have faced criticism in India, with various celebrities on ‘X’ urging people to explore domestic tourist destinations instead of visiting Maldives.

Leterme, a two-time Prime Minister of Belgium, was in the city to attend an event organized by the Merchants Chamber of Commerce (MCC).

Speaking on India-European Union (EU) relations, Leterme said, “There is immense potential for mutual benefits from strengthening ties between the two economic powerhouses. The EU is focusing on a free trade agreement with India in the coming days “

Addressing the current challenges in the global economy, Leterme commented, “Flexibility and capacity to respond to unexpected challenges requires the horizontality of business education, the integration of global aspects into education.”

Advocating greater cooperation in all areas, especially in the area of human talent development, he stressed, “I strongly advocate greater cooperation in all areas, especially in the area of human talent development. ,

Discussing “glocalization”, Leterme stressed, “Advanced educational exchanges, skills development initiatives, and knowledge sharing are critical. Conducting business according to both local and global considerations is key to success in today’s interconnected world.” is important.” Practice is essential.”