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Sunday, April 21, 2024

Maldives President Requests Withdrawal of Indian Military Personnel

In a recent meeting between Maldives President Mohamed Muizzu and Indian Earth Sciences Minister Kiren Rijiju, President Muizzu formally requested the Indian government to withdraw its military personnel from the island nation. The request specifically pertains to the operation of aircraft for medical evacuation and counter drug trafficking purposes.

Acknowledging the significant role played by two Indian helicopters in numerous emergency medical evacuations, President Muizzu expressed appreciation for their contribution to the well-being of Maldivian citizens and the confidence they instill in international tourists on remote islands. Sources from the Indian government confirmed that both parties have agreed to engage in discussions to find workable solutions that serve the interests of the people of the Maldives.

The President’s request comes in the context of the democratic mandate given to him by the Maldivian people during the Presidential Election held in September. Despite this request, discussions between the two governments are expected to explore continued cooperation through the use of these platforms.

India has played a vital role in the Maldives over the years, conducting over 500 medical evacuations and multifaceted missions to safeguard maritime security. Additionally, India has been a crucial first responder in disaster scenarios, including the recent challenges posed by COVID-19.

President Muizzu and Minister Rijiju also reviewed the progress of various projects in the Maldives supported by India, with emphasis on accelerating the Greater Male’ Connectivity Project (GMCP). The President highlighted the importance of addressing and overcoming any issues delaying the project.

As the newly-elected President, Muizzu’s request for the withdrawal of Indian military personnel comes amid a historical context where he is viewed as aligned with the Opposition alliance’s India Out campaign. This stands in contrast to his predecessor, President Ibu Solih, who was perceived as friendly towards India. The meeting concluded with both parties expressing a commitment to fortify bilateral relations between the two countries.

For more updates stay tuned to FELA News!

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