President Muizzu Urges Indian Troop Withdrawal in Recent High-Level Meeting with India

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In a recent meeting between India and the Maldives, President Mohamed Muizzu urged India to withdraw its military personnel from the Maldives by March 15. This request was made during the first meeting of a high-level core group established to address the issue. The discussions aim to find a diplomatic solution without harming the relationship between the two countries.

President Muizzu emphasized the policy against the continued presence of Indian military personnel in the Maldives. The meeting also explored ways to ensure the continued operation of Indian aviation platforms providing humanitarian services to the Maldives.

Currently, there are 77 Indian military personnel operating helicopters and an aircraft in the Maldives, conducting medical evacuations and humanitarian missions. The discussions covered bilateral cooperation and steps to enhance the partnership, with an agreement to hold the next high-level core group meeting in India.

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The formation of the high-level core group was agreed upon during the meeting between President Muizzu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in December. The meeting occurred amidst a downturn in bilateral relations, as President Muizzu sought closer ties with China. His recent measures aim to reduce dependence on India in sectors like healthcare and food security.

The diplomatic engagement involved participation from Indian high commissioner Munu Mahawar and Maldivian representatives, including officials from the President’s Office and the defense forces. President Muizzu, known for his “India out” platform, has consistently called for the withdrawal of Indian military personnel.

President Muizzu’s recent announcements include expanding the government’s health care insurance scheme and diversifying sources for staple foods. Agreements with China and Turkey highlight efforts to enhance agricultural growth and import essential goods. He emphasized the Maldives’ independence in the Indian Ocean and announced substantial aid from China for social housing and infrastructure.

Bilateral relations faced additional challenges when junior Maldivian ministers posted derogatory remarks against India, leading to their suspension and calls for a tourist boycott on Indian social media.


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