India is the Maldives closest ally and friend, President Abdulla Yameen said Sunday, appealing for restraint towards its regional neighbour.
The president, who is island hopping around the north inaugurating projects, made the remarks days after a hostile editorial was removed from a pro-government website.
The Vaguthu article had blasted India, saying it was not a best friend but an enemy and that it viewed the Maldives with “envy, self-interest and hostility.”
Yameen said his administration would never entertain anti-India sentiments and that New Delhi’s help formed an invaluable contribution to the Maldives. He added the government was currently working towards a free trade agreement with India.
His intervention follows weeks of controversy triggered by a free trade agreement the Maldives has signed with China.