Updated March 15th, 2024 at 18:31 IST

1st Batch of Indian Troops Replaced with Technical Staff in Maldives

This transition comes in the backdrop of the Maldivian government, led by Mohamed Muizzu, formally urging India to withdraw its troops from Male.

Reported by: Digital Desk
Representative image of Indian military. | Image:PTI
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The Ministry of External Affairs announced on Friday that the initial group of Indian personnel stationed in the Maldives has been substituted with technical staff, marking a significant development in the ongoing diplomatic exchange between the two nations.

During a weekly briefing, MEA spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal disclosed, "The turnaround of the first team of personnel who were operating the ALH helicopter has been completed. So, the first batch that had to be replaced has been completed. The turnaround has happened."

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Maldives has urged India to withdraw its troops

This transition comes in the backdrop of the Maldivian government, led by Mohamed Muizzu, formally urging India to withdraw its troops from Male, the capital city.

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Earlier communications from the External Affairs Ministry revealed that both India and the Maldives have reached consensus on a series of mutually agreeable solutions to ensure the sustained functioning of Indian aviation platforms, which cater to humanitarian aid and medical evacuation services for the Maldivian populace.

Last month, the MEA had confirmed the dispatch of the first contingent of Indian technical personnel to the Maldives to supplant the defense personnel.

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India and the Maldives have convened two high-level core group meetings, with a third session anticipated in the near future.

Here is what else you need to know

The electoral agenda of Muizzu's party prominently featured the removal of Indian troops from the Maldives. Presently, approximately 70 Indian troops, alongside a Dornier 228 maritime patrol aircraft and two HAL Dhruv helicopters, are stationed in the Maldives.

Muizzu reiterated his stance, asserting that "no Indian military personnel" would remain in the country after May 10, as reported by Maldives-based The Edition.

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Meanwhile, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar expressed optimism regarding the resolution of tensions with the Maldives through diplomatic channels.

Jaishankar underscored the humanitarian efforts undertaken by Indian military personnel and aviation platforms in the Maldives, emphasizing that misunderstandings occasionally arise between nations.

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"Humanity is humanity. Diplomacy is diplomacy, and politics is politics. The whole world doesn't always run with obligation...so if we have encountered such a situation, the solution will come through diplomacy only," remarked Jaishankar at an event.

He further stressed the importance of fostering mutual understanding, noting instances where misinformation could lead to misconceptions.

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Published March 15th, 2024 at 18:31 IST