Friday, June 14, 2024
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Maldives ban: Go to Indian beaches, Israel tells citizens | India News

NEW DELHI: A day after Maldives barred the entry of Israeli passport holders, the Israel embassy in New Delhi issued on Monday a statement on ‘X’ promoting “some beautiful and amazing Indian beaches where Israeli tourists are warmly welcomed and treated with utmost hospitality”, including Lakshadweep, Kerala, Andaman and Goa.
As far as tourism is concerned, Maldives has been in the news for the wrong reasons since the start of the year.A visit by PM Modi to idyllic Lakshadweep led to anti-India tweets by some Maldives’ politicians. After that, Maldives fell off the bucket list for Indian travellers.
During his visit, PM Modi had said on ‘X’ on Jan 4: “In addition to scenic beauty, Lakshadweep’s tranquillity is also mesmerising. It gave me an opportunity to reflect on how to work even harder for the welfare of 140 crore Indians.”
Retweeting the post on Monday, the Israel consul-general to Midwest India, Mumbai, Kobbi Shoshani, said: “Thanks to Maldives govt’s decision Israelis can now explore the beautiful beaches of #Lakshadweep.”
Maldives had Sunday announced a cabinet decision to change laws to prevent Israeli passport holders from entering the country due to the war in Gaza. “For Israeli citizens already in the country, it is recommended to consider leaving, because if they find themselves in distress for any reason, it will be difficult for us to assist,” Maldives’ foreign ministry had said.
The office of Maldives’ pro-China president had said in a release: “Mohamed Muizzu, following a recommendation from cabinet, has resolved to impose a ban on Israeli passports. The cabinet decision includes amending necessary laws to prevent Israeli passport holders from entering the Maldives and establishing a cabinet subcommittee to oversee these efforts.”
Given Israel’s close ties with India, the ban is unlikely to go down well with Indian travellers who the island is trying to woo again after “Boycott Maldives” had trended in India earlier this year.