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Updated February 9th, 2024 at 09:14 IST

Maldives: India to Replace Military Staff With Technical Personnel, May Revise Aid to Island Nation

Indian military personnel have been placed in the Maldives to operate two helicopters and an aircraft for medical evacuations and humanitarian missions.

Maldives
Maldives | Image:Pexels
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New Delhi: India has announced that it will replace its military personnel stationed in the Maldives with “technical personnel”. Indian troops operated three aviation platforms in the Maldives islands.

Maldives President Mohamed Muizzu had called for the withdrawal of Indian defence personnel from the island country. The pro-China President gave a deadline of March 10 this year to India to withdraw around 80 troops from the Maldives, with a deadline of May 10 for other Indian defence crews.

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Indian military personnel have been placed in the Maldives to operate two helicopters and an aircraft for medical evacuations and humanitarian missions.

The Maldives President appeared to soften his stance in recent times, although taunting India. He stated, "These are things that can be achieved by talking nicely and properly explaining in a manner that everyone could believe that our country is an independent and democratic country. You can't achieve things by being short-tempered."

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India to replace troops with technical personnel

New Delhi declared that its defence personnel in the Maldives will be replaced with "competent Indian technical personnel".

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Randhir Jaiswal, Spokesperson, External Affairs Ministry said in a press conference on Thursday, "I would like to say that the present personnel will be replaced by competent Indian technical personnel."

Jaiswal added, "We remain an important committed development partner for the Maldives."

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India's development assistance to the Maldives

Jaiswal said that India’s budgetary allocation to the Maldives for 2023-24 was Rs 400 crore, but it could be revised. The new budget estimate shows the amount at Rs 770.90 crore. In the Interim Budget for 2024-25, Rs 600 crore has been allocated to the Maldives, which could be revised.

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India is spearheading the Greater Male Connectivity Project (GMCP) project in the Maldives, which has a 6.74 km long bridge and causeway link. It will connect the Maldives capital city of Male with the adjoining islands of Villingli, Gulhifalhu and Thilafushi.

Two high-level core group meetings were held to discuss the withdrawal of Indian military personnel in the Maldives, with the second meeting taking place in Delhi on February 2.

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With inputs from PTI.

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Published February 9th, 2024 at 09:14 IST

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