President affirmed the Maldives’ commitment to employing diplomatic channels as the primary instrument to ensure the absence of foreign military presence on its soil….reports Asian Lite News
Maldives President Mohamed Muizzu has conveyed the Indian government’s assurance to honour and respect the desire of the Maldivian people to abstain from accommodating foreign military presence within the country.
The Maldives President said that after dialogue with the Indian government, an agreement has been reached to withdraw Indian military personnel. The agreement is currently in progress at a technical level.
In this regard, the President affirmed the Maldives’ commitment to employing diplomatic channels as the primary instrument to ensure the absence of foreign military presence on its soil.
The President made these remarks during a press briefing held on Sunday at the Velana International Airport, after concluding his official visits to Turkey and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
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.
Muizzu reiterated the administration’s approach to ensuring the Maldives’ position as a welcoming and hospitable nation, underscoring the importance of mutual respect for security boundaries with other countries.
President Muizzu highlighted that he had engaged in several fruitful dialogues with representatives of the Indian government, specifically addressing the withdrawal of Indian military personnel from the Maldives.
He recalled his meeting with Indian officials on the second day of assuming office, during which he officially requested the Indian government withdraw its military personnel from the Maldives.
India and the Maldives recently discussed the status and future of Indian platforms engaged in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) activities in the Maldives, sources familiar with the matter said.
A recent meeting was held between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Maldivian President Mohamed Muizzu on the sidelines of the COP28 Summit in Dubai, UAE.
The sources also stated that there have been reports about the role of Indian platforms in HADR activities in the Maldives and emphasised the continued recognition of their usefulness.
The issue was briefly discussed in Dubai, and both sides acknowledged the importance of these platforms as a vital segment of their bilateral development partnership.
“The Maldivian side has acknowledged the utility of these platforms. The fact that it is an important segment of our bilateral development partnership is recognised by both sides. Discussions on how to keep them operational are ongoing,” said the sources. (ANI)