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Monday, June 17 2024

Maldives Confirms Indian Troops Fully Withdrawn Before Deadline

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New Delhi: Amidst a diplomatic dispute, India has fully withdrawn its troops from Maldives ahead of President Mohamed Muizzu’s May 10 deadline.

President Muizzu, perceived as pro-China, had pledged the withdrawal of Indian military personnel during his presidential campaign.

Heena Waleed, chief spokesperson for the president’s office, confirmed the repatriation of Indian soldiers without specifying numbers. Initially, 51 troops were reported returned out of the 89 stationed. India agreed to the withdrawal to prevent conflict after Muizzu’s deadline announcement.

In New Delhi, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal noted the return of Indian personnel and the deployment of technical staff to operate aviation platforms in Maldives. This development followed talks between India’s External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Maldivian counterpart Moosa Zameer, where they discussed bilateral ties and potential visit by President Muizzu to New Delhi.

The Maldives holds significance in India’s regional strategies, such as ‘SAGAR’ and the ‘Neighbourhood First Policy’.

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