India completely withdraws soldiers from Maldives

Male, capital of Maldives

India has completely withdrawn its soldiers deployed in the Maldives, an official from the Muslim-majority island nation has confirmed.

“The last batch of Indian soldiers stationed in the Maldives have been repatriated,” Maldives Presidential Office Chief Spokeswoman Heena Waleed told Sun Online news.

Indian troops began leaving Maldives in March under an agreement brought about by President Mohamed Muizzu after he assumed office last November.

Muizzu had rallied support on a pledge to withdraw all Indian troops from the island nation during his campaign last year.

The first batch of at least 25 Indian troops deployed in Addu city for the operation of helicopters donated by New Delhi left the southernmost atoll of the archipelago in March.

All Indian troops were scheduled to leave Maldives by May 10.

The Indian military personnel have been replaced by civilian staff who will manage the two helicopters and a Dornier aircraft. Dornier is the first Indian chopper donated to Maldives which began its operations in 2010.

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Some 89 Indian troops, including 12 medical personnel from the Indian military, were also deployed in L. Kadhdhoo and HDh. Hanimaadhoo regions of the South Asian nation, comprising nearly 1,200 islands.

The confirmation of Indian troops leaving Maldives comes while the island nation’s Foreign Minister Moosa Zameer is on his first official trip to New Delhi.

Zameer held talks with his Indian counterpart, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar on Thursday.

“We exchanged perspectives on increasing engagement and exchanges between Maldives and India, both bilaterally and in the international arena,” he wrote on X.

SOURCE: AA and 5Pillars

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