'No need to build walls to safeguard independence': Pres Solih

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has emphasized that safeguarding the Maldives' independence does not necessitate isolating the nation and "building a wall around the country."

Speaking at a campaign rally at Baa Dharavandhoo on Tuesday night, where the main-ruling MDP manifesto's 'Good Governance' policy was unveiled, President Solih said the Maldives' successful foreign policy implemented in the past five years has ensured its independence and global standing.

"We do not necessarily need a big wall around the country to guard our freedom today. We need to foster our relations with other countries. The best solution for freedom is having honest and trustworthy foreign relations with the countries of the world," he said.

The President said that during the last government, Maldives was completely isolated from the world. However, with the foreign policy implemented in the last five years, the Maldives has achieved great successes in the international arena, he said.

Comparing the current administration's approach with the previous government's isolationist stance, President Solih said the Maldives has now established foreign relations with over 100 countries and can travel to more than 80 countries visa-free. Referring to Maldives Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid's tenure as the President of the UN General Assembly, President Solih said the Maldives has held the highest positions in the UN and no longer hesitates to contest international elections.

"There are so many countries that will support us no matter what position we run for at the UN today. I am confident today that we can contest a competitive election at the UN. We have expanded our foreign policy, our independent foreign policy, to this level," he said.

The current administration is strongly criticized for maintaining excessive relations with India. The opposition describes the dynamic between the two countries as the Maldives being in India's servitude.