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Business News/ News / World/  India responds to Maldives President Muizzu’s demands, technical team sent to replace defence personnel
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India responds to Maldives President Muizzu’s demands, technical team sent to replace defence personnel

The civilian technical team will replace the Indian military personnel who operate the advanced light helicopter at Gan.

External Affairs Ministry spokesman Randhir Jaiswal (File Photo)Premium
External Affairs Ministry spokesman Randhir Jaiswal (File Photo)

An Indian civilian technical team has reached Male, the capital of Maldives, to take charge of one of the three aviation platforms in the island nation, said India’s foreign ministry on Thursday, February 29.

The civilian technical team will replace the Indian military personnel who operate the advanced light helicopter at Gan.

ALSO READ: 'Impossible to muddy ties with India': New Maldives' opposition party leader

“The first team of technical personnel to operate the advanced light helicopter at Gan has reached the Maldives. It will replace the existing personnel that were until now, operating this platform...," Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesman Randhir Jaiswal said.

 

“The civilian team to operate and maintain the aircraft has now arrived in the Maldives. The Indian civilian team arrived in Addu early last night to complete the handover or takeover process," themaldivesjournal.com, a news portal, said quoting a statement by the Maldives defence ministry on Wednesday.

ALSO READ: Indian Troops in Maldives: Former minister says President Muizzu is a liar

The development comes days after Maldivian President Mohamed Muizzu, widely seen as a pro-China leader, in his maiden address to Parliament on February 5 announced that the first group of Indian military personnel will be sent back from the island nation before March 10.

After a high-level meeting in Delhi on February 2 between the two sides, the Maldivian foreign ministry said India will replace its military personnel operating the three aviation platforms in the Maldives by May 10 and the first phase of the process would be completed by March 10.

There are 88 military personnel manning the three Indian platforms that have been providing humanitarian and medical evacuation services to the people of the Maldives for the last few years using two helicopters and a Dornier aircraft.

On Wednesday, the news portal also said that test flights will be held before the helicopter is taken to India for repairs.

An Indian ship will dock at Addu carrying the replacement helicopter.

Soon after taking oath as the President on November 17, Muizzu formally requested India to withdraw 88 military personnel from his country by March 15, saying the Maldivian people had given him a “strong mandate" to make this request to New Delhi.

(With inputs from agencies)

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Published: 29 Feb 2024, 07:09 PM IST
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