Maldives President Declares No Indian Troops Presence After May 10 Amid Military Deal with China

Maldives President Mohamed Muizzu reiterated his stance that Indian military personnel will no longer be present in the island nation after May 10. He stated firmly, “There will be no Indian troops in the country come May 10. Not in uniform and not in civilian clothing. The Indian military will not be residing in this country in any form of clothing.” Muizzu’s remarks come in light of the Maldives signing an agreement with China to receive free military aid.

Muizzu emphasized that false rumors attempting to distort the situation should not be entertained. He dismissed claims that Indian military personnel were merely changing uniforms to civilian clothing, urging against spreading such lies and instilling doubts.

The president’s statement follows criticism from the opposition, who assert that Indian personnel sent to Maldives as civilians are actually military officials out of uniform. A civilian team from India arrived in Maldives on February 28 to assume control of one of the three aviation platforms in the nation, ahead of the March 10 deadline agreed upon by both countries for the withdrawal of Indian military personnel.

Muizzu had previously announced that the first group of Indian military personnel would be sent back from the island nation before March 10. Currently, there are 88 military personnel operating the three Indian platforms, providing humanitarian and medical evacuation services to the people of Maldives.

Reports suggest that Maldives has successfully collaborated with Sri Lanka for medical evacuation flights, signaling its determination to remove all Indian troops from its territory.

Highlighting the importance of true independence, Muizzu emphasized efforts to regain control of the southern maritime area and expel Indian troops from Maldives. He expressed confidence in achieving this goal, despite delays attributed to adverse procedures implemented without parliamentary approval, violating the Constitution.