(MENAFN) In a formal demand, the Maldives has requested the withdrawal of all Indian military personnel stationed on its territory, as announced by the president's office on Sunday. The archipelagic nation, led by its newly elected president, Mohamed Muizzu, aims to remove foreign military influence, particularly emphasizing the presence of 77 Indian troops. Muizzu, perceived as pro-China, secured victory at the polls with a promise to rebalance trade and reduce the Maldives' Indian influence, a departure from the policies of his predecessor, Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, who fostered close ties with New Delhi.
The Maldivian president's office revealed that the majority of the Indian troops are engaged in various aircraft operations, while others handle maintenance and engineering tasks. This disclosure aligns with President Muizzu's commitment to fulfilling the democratic will of the Maldivian people, who granted him a strong mandate to address the presence of foreign military forces.
The Indian military's role in the region involves using helicopters to assist in rescuing individuals stranded on Maldivian islands or facing various types of threats, as reported by the Associated Press (AP). The formal call for withdrawal marks a significant policy shift for the Maldives, signaling a reassessment of its geopolitical alliances and a move towards a more independent stance in shaping its military landscape.
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