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Updated February 5th, 2024 at 13:36 IST

India-Maldives Diplomatic Row: Muizzu says Indian Troops will Withdraw by May

During his inaugural address on November 17, Muizzu formally requested India to withdraw 88 military personnel by March 15.

Digital Desk
Maldives President Mohamed Muizzu
Maldives President Mohamed Muizzu | Image:X
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In a significant development, Maldivian President Mohamed Muizzu declared on Monday that the first group of Indian military personnel stationed in the island nation would be sent back before March 10. The remaining Indian troops, currently manning two aviation platforms, are slated for withdrawal by May 10.

President Muizzu, perceived as a pro-China leader, addressed the Parliament for the first time, emphasizing his commitment to respecting the sovereignty of the Maldives. He expressed confidence that a majority of Maldivians support his administration with the expectation of removing foreign military presence and reclaiming lost oceanic territory.

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Here is what you need to know

During his inaugural address on November 17, Muizzu formally requested India to withdraw 88 military personnel by March 15, citing a strong mandate from the Maldivian people. Diplomatic discussions ensued, and Muizzu provided an update to Parliament on the agreed timeline for troop withdrawal.

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"As per the most recent discussions, military personnel on one of the three aviation platforms will be recalled before March 10, 2024. The military personnel on the remaining two platforms will also be recalled by May 10, 2024," Muizzu announced.

India, in a statement on February 2, acknowledged reaching "mutually workable solutions" with the Maldives to continue the operations of Indian aviation platforms. Currently, Indian military personnel operate helicopters and an aircraft, providing essential medical evacuations and humanitarian assistance.

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The decision marks a significant shift in the geopolitical landscape of the Indian Ocean region, raising questions about the future relationship between the Maldives and India.

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Published February 5th, 2024 at 12:31 IST

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