Maldives Urges India to Pull Back Military Presence by March 15: Maldivian President Mohamed Muizzu wants India to pull its troops out of the archipelago nation before March 15, India Today claimed on Sunday. This comes after a diplomatic row between the two countries. Muizzu’s request comes just a few days after he got back from China.
Maldives Urges India to Pull Back Military Presence by March 15
Even though the President of the Maldives supports China, he ran for office last year on a platform of opposing India. As soon as he took office, he officially asked New Delhi to pull its troops out of the Maldives.
There are currently about 70 Indian soldiers, two HAL Dhruv helicopters, and a Dornier 228 marine patrol aircraft stationed in the Maldives. Moving the Indian troops out of the area was Muizzu’s main strategy tool.
Government sources told India Today last month that the question of pulling out the troops was briefly brought up during the meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the President of the Maldives at the COP28 Climate Summit in Dubai.
As soon as Muizzu took office, Muizzu asserted that he was firmly committed to ensuring that Maldives remains “free” of any “foreign military presence” to preserve its independence and sovereignty. He said the Maldives is too small to get caught up in geopolitical competition. He also stated that he has no interest in interfering in the current foreign policy of the Maldives. “Maldives is too small to get caught up in geopolitical rivalry. I am not very interested in interfering in the country’s foreign policy,” he had said.
India’s relationship with the Maldives has gotten worse since Muizzu took over as leader of Male. The relationship between the two countries got even worse after the island country’s three deputy ministers said mean things about PM Modi after his trip to the Indian islands of Lakshadweep.
As a response to the words, Indians stopped going to the Maldives as tourists. Because of this, Muizzu recently said that even though his country is small, it “can’t be bullied.”
At the same time, Muizzu’s party lost because Adam Azim, a candidate from the opposition party, won the mayoral race in Male. It was called a “landslide” and a “victory by a large margin” that Azim won. Azim, from the Maldives Democratic Party, got 5,303 votes out of 41 boxes that were counted. His opponent, Aishath Azima Shakoor, from Muizzu’s People’s National Congress (PNC), got 3,301 votes.