President-Elect Dr. Mohamed Muizzu has pledged to withdraw foreign military personnel stationed in the Maldives upon taking office. He made this promise during a rally at the Social Center in Male' on Monday night, where he thanked the citizens for their support in the presidential election..
Addressing his supporters, Dr. Muizzu stated that the Maldivian people have made it clear in the presidential election that they want foreign military personnel out of the Maldives. He assured the crowd that he would fulfill this promise, emphasizing his commitment to prioritizing the interests of the country and its people.
“I will start the work on the first day of my government,” he said.
Dr. Muizzu further said the withdrawal of foreign military personnel would be done in accordance with established rules, and those whose cooperation is necessary will be involved in the process. Dr. Muizzu reiterated that foreign troops cannot stay in the Maldives if the Maldivian people do not want them.
Although Dr. Muizuz spoke of foreign military presence in the Maldives, he did not name a specific country. However, during his campaign, he mentioned the presence of Indian military personnel in the Maldives. His party, the PPM-PNC coalition, had also organized serial protests under the banner "India Out" against the alleged Indian military presence in the Maldives.
Dr. Muizzu's foreign policy
Dr.Muizzu said he has been receiving offers to meet foreign ambassadors following the election results, and he intends to meet them according to established procedures. Without specifying a country, he mentioned that he would meet with the ambassadors of neighboring countries. He also emphasized his intention to maintain strong relations with ambassadors from countries that respect the Maldives.
Dr. Muizzu said he would prioritize a "pro-Maldives" policy in his foreign policy but did not elaborate on the statement. It is believed that his statement is in reference to some Indian newspapers describing him as "pro-China".
"All countries that follow a pro-Maldives policy will have close and friendly relations with us," he stated, adding that the country's independence should be protected, and other countries should respect it.