'India to Remove Troops from Maldives by 10 May': President Muizzu in Parliament

The first group of Indian military personnel will leave the island nation before March 10.

2 min read
Hindi Female

"As per the most recent discussions, military personnel on one of the three aviation platforms will be recalled before March 10, 2024. The military personnel on the remaining two platforms will also be recalled by May 10, 2024," Maldivian President Mohamed Muizzu told the country's Parliament on Monday, 5 February as quoted by PTI.

"Diplomatic discussions with other nations that the President can conduct are ongoing. We have officially requested India to remove its troops stationed in the Maldives. Deliberations on this issue are ongoing.In his address to the Parliament, the first session of every year, Muizzu restated his earlier stance on the removal of Indian troops from the archipelago nation.

The pro-China leader said the first group of Indian military personnel will leave the island nation before 10 March, while the remaining Indian troops manning two aviation platforms will be withdrawn by 10 May.

However, India has not yet confirmed this.

After the latest round of bilateral talks, India said on 2 February that a "set of mutually workable solutions" was agreed upon with the Maldives for continuing the operations of Indian aviation platforms in the island nation.


According to the latest figures, 88 Indian military personnel, two HAL Dhruv helicopters and a Dornier aircraft for humanitarian purposes are present in the Maldives. Indian troops have been stationed in Maldives to train their military in combat and reconnaissance, and rescue-aid operations.

Muizzu's speech opened to fairly vacant Parliament and empty seats in Parliament as two main opposition parties – the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) and The Democrats – had decided to boycott his address.

The Maldivian Parliament comprises 80 members. The MDP and the Democrats command 56 MPs, 43 from the MDP and 13 from the Democrats. According to the local media reports, only 24 MPs were present during the President's speech, making it the biggest boycott in Maldivian parliament history.

The two opposition parties had recently criticized the President for the regime’s “stark” anti-India pivot.

The Rising Diplomatic Tensions

The boycott of Muizzu’s speech comes at a time when he is already facing criticism for his anti-India stance. Muizzu went on a five-day visit to China and met President Xi Jinping when he came into power. The two countries signed a $50 million agreement to develop an integrated tourism zone in Hulhumale. China also agreed to allow Maldives' national airline, Maldivian, to conduct domestic flight operations in the country. The visit was marked by signing 20 agreements, an aid of $130 million to Maldives.

To make matters worse and add to the rising diplomatic tensions between India and Maldives. Social media posts by the latter country’s ministers against Prime Minister Narendra Modi emerged.

Then, later in January, a statement issued by the Government of Maldives claimed that the Chinese research vessel ‘Xiang Yang Hong 3’ would not be conducting research in Maldivian waters but was scheduled for a port call. This had raised concerns in India, particularly following Sri Lanka's decision to impose a one-year moratorium on Chinese research vessels, preventing them from berthing at its ports or operating within its exclusive economic zone (EEZ) starting from 1 January, in response to Indian apprehensions about Chinese vessel visits.

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