News Karnataka
Thursday, April 25 2024

Maldives Asserts No Indian Troops, “Even In Civilian Clothing”

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Male, Maldives: In an escalation of his stance towards India, Maldives President Mohamed Muizzu has declared that there will be no presence of Indian military personnel, not even those in civilian attire, within his country after May 10, according to a recent media report.

This statement from President Muizzu follows closely on the heels of an Indian civilian team arriving in the Maldives to take over one of the three aviation platforms in the island nation, well ahead of the March 10 deadline agreed upon by both countries for the withdrawal of Indian military personnel.

During his visit to the Baa atoll Eydhafushi residential community, President Muizzu emphasized his government’s success in expelling Indian troops from the country, dismissing rumors suggesting otherwise as falsehoods and attempts to distort the truth, as reported by news portal

He firmly stated, “There will be no Indian troops in the country come May 10, whether in uniform or civilian attire. The Indian military presence in any form will not continue in this country. I say this with absolute certainty.” This declaration came on the same day that his country signed an agreement with China for free military aid.

Earlier discussions between the two nations had established that India would replace its military personnel operating the three aviation platforms in the Maldives by May 10, with the first phase of this transition expected to be completed by March 10, following a meeting in Delhi on February 2.

President Muizzu, known for his anti-India stance, reiterated similar sentiments during his first address to Parliament on February 5.

Reports indicate that the first troops to depart the country are those operating the two helicopters in Addu City, with military personnel in Haa Dhaalu atoll Hanimaadhoo and Laamu atoll Kahdhoo also expected to leave before May 10.

While India agreed to withdraw its troops from the Maldives, it stipulated that an equivalent number of civilians would be brought in to operate the aircraft.

Critics have accused the government of sending Indian military officials disguised as civilians, an allegation the administration denies having any means to verify.

Additionally, recent reports suggest that Maldives has partnered with Sri Lanka for medical evacuation flights, further signaling its commitment to removing all Indian troops from its territory.

President Muizzu emphasized the importance of achieving true independence and reclaiming sovereignty over the southern maritime area while accusing past practices of disregarding constitutional procedures.

Given its proximity to India and strategic location in the Indian Ocean Region, the Maldives holds significant importance for India’s maritime interests and regional policies such as SAGAR and the Neighbourhood First Policy.

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