Abdulla Nazim, the Policy Director of the Maldives President’s Office, told reporters that President Muizzu had proposed to withdraw Indian troops from the Maldives…reports Asian Lite News
India and the Maldives discussed finding a “mutually workable solution” to continue the operation of Indian aviation platforms that provide humanitarian and medical evacuation services to the people of the Maldives, the Ministry of External Affairs said on Sunday.
The discussions were held during the first meeting of the India-Maldives High-Level Core Group that was held in Male on Sunday.
India and Maldives also discussed enhancing bilateral cooperation and expediting the implementation of ongoing projects.
“During the meeting, both sides held discussions on wide-ranging issues related to bilateral cooperation towards identifying steps to enhance the partnership, including expediting the implementation of ongoing development cooperation projects,” the MEA statement read.
“Both sides also held discussions on finding mutually workable solution to enable continued operation of Indian aviation platforms that provide humanitarian and medvac services to the people of Maldives,” it added.
The two sides also agreed to hold the next meeting of the High-Level Core Group in India on a mutually convenient date.
Earlier, Maldives local media reported that Maldives President Mohamed Muizzu has asked the Indian government to withdraw the Indian troops from the island nation before March 15.
Abdulla Nazim, the Policy Director of the Maldives President’s Office, told reporters that President Muizzu had proposed to withdraw Indian troops from the Maldives.
“During the meeting, the President proposed the removal of Indian troops before March 15. The government, the President’s Office and the President have proposed this date for the agenda of the meeting. Those discussions are now underway,” Maldives-based Adhadhu newspaper quoted Nazim as saying at the press conference.
Nazim further said that Indian troops cannot stay in Maldives and that is “what the people want,” the local newspaper reported.
“The most important point is that Indian troops cannot stay in this country. That is the policy of this government. That is the promise of President Mohammed Muizzu and what the people want,” he said.
Notably, the removal of Indian troops in the Maldives was the main campaign of Muizzu’s party. Currently, there are around 70 Indian troops, along with Dornier 228 maritime patrol aircraft and two HAL Dhruv helicopters, stationed in the Maldives.
On the second day of assuming office, Muizzu officially requested the Indian government to withdraw its military personnel from the Maldives.
In December last year, President Muizzu claimed that, after dialogue with the Indian government, an agreement was reached to withdraw Indian military personnel. (ANI)