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Withdraw military personnel, Maldives formally requests India

Maldives recently elected government has issued a formal request to India to withdraw its troops stationed on the island-country’s soil, as per an official statement issued on November 18.

“The Government of Maldives has formally requested Government of India to withdraw its military personnel from the Maldives,” the statement noted.

The request was made by Maldives President Mohamed Muizzu, who met Indian Union Minister Kiren Rijiju in Malé earlier in the day.

The removal of India’s military presence in Maldives was one of the major issues in the tightly contested presidential elections held in September. 

Muizzu, who successfully challenged the then incumbent president Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, had promised to ensure the removal of Indian troops and maintain geopolitical neutrality if he is elected to power.

Notably, the Maldivian defence force had said in 2021 that about 75 Indian military personnel were located in the country to maintain and operate an aircraft that was provided as an aid in 2020.

The opposition coalition that Muizzu led had an “India Out” campaign to corner the Solih government on the issue. There were also speculations that the new president may shift Maldives towards the pro-China camp after assuming office.


(This is a developing story)

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Updated: 18 Nov 2023, 07:49 PM IST

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