Maldives' March deadline for Indian military withdrawal: ‘Can’t stay here…'
20:24, Sunday, 14 January, 2024
Maldives president Mohamed Muizzu asked India to withdraw its military personnel from his country by March 15, a senior official as per news agency PTI. This comes nearly two months after Male sought removal of Indian troops. As per government figures, there are 88 Indian military personnel in the Maldives.
The public policy secretary at the Maldivian president’s office, Abdulla Nazim Ibrahim, said that the island nation has formally asked India to withdraw its military personnel by March 15. He said as per the SunOnline newspaper, “Indian military personnel cannot stay in the Maldives. This is the policy of President Dr Mohamed Muizzu and that of this administration."
Maldives and India set up a high-level core group to negotiate the withdrawal of troops. The group held its first meeting which was also attended by Indian High Commissioner Munu Mahawar, it was reported. Talking about the meeting, Abdulla Nazim Ibrahim said that the agenda was to request withdrawal of troops by March 15.
What Mohamed Muizzu said earlier on Indian troop withdrawal? Mohamed Muizzu, who is regarded as a pro-China leader, formally requested India to withdraw its military personnel from his country, after taking oath in November. The Maldivian people have given us a "strong mandate" to make this request to New Delhi, he said then.