Maldives President Firm: Indian Troops to Exit by May 10, Even in Civilian Clothes they cannot not stay here more

Maldives President Mohamed Muizzu made a bold declaration, asserting that Indian military presence, including personnel in civilian attire, will cease in his country by May 10. This statement follows the arrival of an Indian civilian team to manage one of the aviation platforms in the Maldives, ahead of the agreed deadline of March 10 for Indian military personnel withdrawal.

During his visit to the Baa atoll Eydhafushi residential community, President Muizzu addressed concerns regarding the presence of Indian troops, emphasizing his government’s success in expelling them. He dismissed rumors suggesting that Indian military personnel might remain disguised in civilian clothing, urging the public not to entertain such falsehoods.

Muizzu’s remarks coincide with Maldives signing an agreement with China for military assistance. This move underscores the President’s determination to reshape foreign relations and reduce Indian influence in the region.

Previously, the Maldivian foreign ministry announced India’s commitment to replace military personnel operating the three aviation platforms by May 10, with the initial phase slated for completion by March 10.

President Muizzu’s anti-India stance, which propelled him to power, remains steadfast. He has demanded the removal of Indian personnel from the archipelago since assuming office.

Reports indicate the departure of Indian military personnel from various locations in the Maldives, indicating a concerted effort to fulfill Muizzu’s directive.

Critics, however, challenge the distinction between Indian civilians and military officials, suggesting that the distinction is blurred, and the government lacks means to verify their status.

In another development, Maldives has established collaboration with Sri Lanka for medical evacuation flights, signaling a broader agenda to rid the country of Indian influence across all sectors.

President Muizzu reiterated the nation’s commitment to reclaiming sovereignty over its southern maritime territory and expelling Indian troops, emphasizing adherence to constitutional procedures.

The strategic significance of the Maldives, positioned at the crossroads of major commercial sea routes in the Indian Ocean, underscores the geopolitical implications of these developments. As a key maritime neighbor, the Maldives plays a vital role in India’s regional initiatives, making its evolving relationship with India of paramount importance.

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