NEW DELHI: Maldives Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid reviews 14 months of President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih’s government and how relations with India have been restored across the board. In this interview with StratNews Global Associate Editor Amitabh P Revi, Shahid answers questions on China’s debt, India’s $1.4 billion assistance, whether there are two voices within his party on Beijing’s debt ‘trap’, how China is dealing with his government and New Delhi’s security, defence and development assistance. The Foreign Minister reiterates ex-President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom (now jailed for corruption) and his policy of playing China and India landed the Maldives in a mess. Shahid also speaks about extremism and Maldivians joining the ‘Islamic State’ terrorist group in Syria and how fundamentalism is being dealt with domestically and internationally, fugitive Indian preacher Zakir Naik, new joint projects in Addu, Indian tourist numbers growing by 105 per centand the near completion of the Coastal Surveillance Radar System. India training athletes including cricketers and sports diplomacy are also discussed.
Russian language speaker and conflict journalist. Amitabh Revi has been there, done that—from the battlefields of Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan to sublime Russia, Australia and the United States. Along the way he's picked up the Dag Hammarskjöld Distinguished Journalist Fellowship, the Ramnath Goenka award for coverage of the Iraq War and RT's Khaled Alkhateb Award for his reporting from Palmyra, Syria.
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