Published On: Sat, Nov 18th, 2023

Maldives officially requests India to withdraw its military presence

New Delhi: Maldivian President Mohamed Muizzu has formally requested the Government of India to withdraw its military presence from the island nation.

Muizzu defeated Ibrahim Solih, who was regarded as India-friendly

The request was made public by the president’s office through an official statement.

The announcement, made by the Maldivian President’s office, said his country “hopes that India will honour the democratic will of the people”. The request was made when Muizzu met Earth Sciences Minister Kiren Rijiju in Malé earlier in the day.

“The President noted that at the Presidential Election held in September, the Maldivian people had given him a strong mandate to make the request to India and expressed the hope that India will honour the democratic will of the people of the Maldives,” the statement read.

“When Minister Rijiju called on President Muizzu, the President brought up the issue of Indian military personnel present in the Maldives for operating aircraft for medical evacuation and counter drug trafficking purposes,” it added.

The request for the withdrawal of Indian troops from the island nation comes a day after Muizzu took oath as the Maldivian president. Engineer-turned-politician, Muizzu, 45, was inducted as the eighth president of the archipelago nation after he resigned as the mayor of Malé.

Rijiju, among other South Asian ministers, represented the country at Muizzu’s inauguration ceremony held on Friday. Shortly after Muizzu’s inauguration ceremony, Maldivian president held a tete-a-tete with Rijiju and his office said their meeting also reviewed “various projects in Maldives with the support of India”.

“The President (at the meeting with Rijiju) emphasised the importance of accelerating the Greater Malé Connectivity Project (GMCP), and highlighted the importance of addressing and overcoming the issues delaying the project,” it stated.

It further said, “The Minister expressed his aspiration to foster a constructive relationship with the Maldives, acknowledging the presence of a vibrant Indian community residing in the Maldives.”

Muizzu had indicated during the election campaign that the withdrawal of Indian troops from Maldives is among the issues that need to be resolved.

Meanwhile, Kiren Rijiju took to X, formerly Twitter, and cemented the country’s ties with Maldives.

“Conveyed greetings from PM Narendra Modi and reiterated India’s commitment to further strengthen substantive bilateral cooperation and robust people-to-people ties,” Rijiju tweeted.

Muizzu defeated Ibrahim Solih, who was regarded as India-friendly, in a runoff in September. As per reports, the newly elected President had recently said that Maldives was “too small to be entangled in geopolitical rivalry” and that his foreign policy would not include it.

Soon after the oath-taking on Friday, Muizzu had asserted that he was firmly committed to ensuring that his country remains “free” of any “foreign military presence” to preserve its independence and sovereignty. However, he did not name any country in his inaugural address.

Leave a comment

XHTML: You can use these html tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Social Media Auto Publish Powered By :