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Business News/ News / World/  Indian Troops in Maldives: Former minister says President Muizzu is a liar, ‘There are no…’
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Indian Troops in Maldives: Former minister says President Muizzu is a liar, ‘There are no…’

President Muizzu requested the withdrawal of about 80 Indian defence personnel from the Maldives. Former Minister Abdulla Shahid criticized Muizzu's claims of 'thousands of Indian military personnel' as false. India plans to replace troops with technical staff at aviation platforms.

Former Maldives Foreign Affairs Minister Abdulla Shahid. Premium
Former Maldives Foreign Affairs Minister Abdulla Shahid.

Former Maldives Foreign Affairs Minister Abdulla Shahid on Saturday said the claims made by Maldivian President Mohamed Muizzu about “thousands of Indian military personnel" were just another in a string of lies.

In a post on X (formerly Twitter), the newly elected president of the Maldivian Democratic Party said, “100 days in, it's clear: President Muizzu's claims of 'thousands of Indian military personnel' were just another in a string of lies. The current administration's inability to provide specific numbers speaks volumes."

"There are no armed foreign soldiers stationed in the country. Transparency matters and the truth must prevail," he stated.

Currently, there are around 70 Indian troops along with Dornier 228 maritime patrol aircraft and two HAL Dhruv helicopters stationed in the Maldives. The removal of Indian troops in Maldives was the main campaign of Muizzu's party. 

On the second day of assuming office, Muizzu officially requested the Indian government withdraw its military personnel from the Maldives. Last December, Muizzu claimed that an agreement was reached to withdraw Indian military personnel after talks with the Indian government. 

The president also stated that diplomatic negotiations were underway for the withdrawal of Indian troops. He detailed that, as agreed in the last negotiations, the military personnel on one of the three aviation platforms would be withdrawn before March 10, 2024, and the military personnel on the remaining two platforms would be withdrawn before May 10, 2024.

Earlier this month, the Ministry of External Affairs said that India will replace military personnel at aviation platforms in the Maldives with competent Indian technical personnel.

India has provided the Maldives with various types of defence equipment, including helicopters and Dornier aircraft, but the presence of about 80 Indian defence personnel – stationed there to operate this equipment – has become a matter of controversy ever since newly elected Maldivian President Mohamed Muizzu criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi and pledged to remove foreign military troops from the country.

 

(With inputs from agencies)

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Published: 26 Feb 2024, 08:11 AM IST
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