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Business News/ News / World/  ‘Maldives will not renew agreement with India’: Mohamed Muizzu as first group of Indian troops to exit before March 10
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‘Maldives will not renew agreement with India’: Mohamed Muizzu as first group of Indian troops to exit before March 10

Maldivian President Mohamed Muizzu announced that the Indian Army will relocate its military personnel from one of the three aviation platforms in the Maldives by March 10, 2024.

FILE PHOTO: President of the Maldives Mohamed Muizzu delivers a national statement at the World Climate Action Summit during the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, December 1, 2023. REUTERS/Amr Alfiky/File Photo/File Photo (REUTERS)Premium
FILE PHOTO: President of the Maldives Mohamed Muizzu delivers a national statement at the World Climate Action Summit during the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, December 1, 2023. REUTERS/Amr Alfiky/File Photo/File Photo (REUTERS)

Maldivian President Mohamed Muizzu said on Monday that India and the Maldives have reached an agreement to repatriate the initial contingent of Indian troops stationed in the Maldives before March 10 of this year.

According to local media reports, President Muizzu made this statement during his inaugural address at the commencement of the final session of the 19th Parliament, highlighting that discussions are currently underway with India regarding the withdrawal of their troops.

According to a report by Sun Online, Muizzu stated that the Indian Army will relocate its military personnel from one of the three aviation platforms in the Maldives by March 10, 2024. He said, “The military personnel of the remaining two platforms will leave by May 10."

Also Read: Maldives President Mohamed Muizzu says ‘no one has license to bully us’ amid diplomatic row with India

Muizzu emphasized that his primary commitment as president was to safeguard the freedom and sovereignty of the Maldivian people.

He said that the support of a large majority of the people of Maldives for his government was a “pledge to withdraw foreign troops from Maldives, recover the lost part of Maldives seas and cancel any agreement made by the state that could undermine Maldives sovereignty."

In his address at the Parliament, Mohamed Muizzu announced that he will establish the ability of the Maldives military to maintain the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) 24 hours a day.

Also Read: Maldives opposition parties who criticised Mohamed Muizzu's 'anti-India' pivot, to now boycott his presidential address

Furthermore, Maldives-based online news outlet Adhadhu reported that during the inaugural session of the People's Majlis, where Muizzu delivered his first presidential address, only 24 Members of Parliament (MPs) from the Maldives attended. The opposition, consisting of the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) and the Democrats, chose to boycott the session citing concerns about the “undemocratic ways of the government."

A total of 56 MPs boycotted the opening sitting. This includes 13 MPs from the Democrats and 44 MPs from the MDP.

Also Read: India-Maldives row: Why does Maldives want Indian troops out | Explainer

Furthermore, the withdrawal of Indian troops from the Maldives was a central focus of Muizzu's party's campaign. Presently, approximately 70 Indian troops, accompanied by a Dornier 228 maritime patrol aircraft and two HAL Dhruv helicopters, are stationed in the Maldives, ANI reported.

Also Read: India-Maldives row: ‘President Muizzu should apologise to PM Modi…’ says Maldivian opposition leader

On the second day of his presidency, Muizzu formally requested the Indian government to withdraw its military personnel from the Maldives. Muizzu had previously asserted in December of the preceding year that, following discussions with the Indian government, an agreement had been reached for the withdrawal of Indian military personnel.

In the latest development, the second meeting of the high-level core group between the Maldives and India occurred last week in New Delhi.

“Both sides agreed that the Government of India will replace the military personnel in one of the three aviation platforms by 10 March 2024, and will complete replacing military personnel in the other two platforms by 10 May 2024," the Maldives Foreign Ministry stated.

Also Read:All is good…,’ Maldives envoy says day after opposition leader urged Prez Muizzu to ‘apologise to PM Modi’. Detail here

The Maldives has reported that during the second meeting of the high-level core group between the two nations, both sides conducted a thorough review of the existing bilateral cooperation. The focus was on enhancing the partnership in the areas of defence and security cooperation, economic collaboration, and development partnership.

An agreement was reached to hold the third meeting of the high-level core group in Male, during the last week of February, on a date mutually acceptable to both parties. Importantly, the MEA in its statement, noted that India and the Maldives have mutually agreed upon practical solutions to facilitate the ongoing operation of Indian aviation platforms, which provide humanitarian and medevac services to the people of the Maldives.

Also Read: India to replace military personnel in three aviation platforms in Maldives amid diplomatic row

The statement mentioned that the two sides sustained discussions on a broad spectrum of issues concerning bilateral cooperation, with a focus on identifying measures to strengthen the partnership. This includes efforts to expedite the implementation of ongoing development cooperation projects.

(With inputs from ANI)

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Published: 05 Feb 2024, 12:14 PM IST
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