Minister makes formal apology at the parliament

Defence Minister Mariya Ahmed Didi has made a formal apology for any ill-feelings that have have arisen due to the recent comments she made to the Indian media.

The first female defence minister, Mariya told SNI that "if India wanted to, it could take over the Maldives given its armed strength," before quickly adding that India would not do that because India is there to help the Maldives.

Mariya was summoned to the parliament and questioned regarding her comments on Monday morning.

Responding to an MP's question, Mariya said the uproar is regarding about 5 seconds of a 22-minutes long interview.

Mariya said her comments were meant to portray that India is a country that has always respected the Maldives, and communicates effectively with the country. She had attempted to say that there is no fear for Maldives posed by India, explained Mariya.

Noting that one cannot take back or change their wordings during a live interview, Mariya said she apologizes for her choice of words used in the interview that may have provoked ill-feelings.

Defence Ministry has previously defended their minister by stating that her words were twisted by the media in such a way that its intended meaning it lost. Defence Ministry also pointed out that Mariya had said in the same interview that she is confident that India has never had any intention of conquering Maldives.

"We know very well—If the Indians really wanted to occupy Maldives—they’ve never had the intention, but if they do, you know I don’t know how we can stop it. Your Air Force, your Navy, your infantry—there’s nothing we can do," the Minister had said.