India agrees to withdraw military personnel from Maldives

The Indian government has agreed to withdraw its military personnel from the Maldives. The decision was disclosed by President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu at a press conference held on Sunday upon his return to the Maldives following the conclusion of his official visits to Turkiye and the UAE.

Earlier on Friday, President Dr. Muizzu met with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the COP28 Summit in UAE.

At the press conference, the President denied reports that the withdrawal of Indian troops was not discussed during his meeting with PM Modi. He emphasized that he personally requested the withdrawal in the presence of Maldives Foreign Minister Moosa Zameer.

Dr. Muizzu said the withdrawal of Indian troops from the Maldives would be in accordance with diplomatic procedures, with India extending its assistance. The President said both governments have agreed to establish a high-level committee to oversee the withdrawal process and ensure the uninterrupted continuation of various projects in the Maldives with Indian support.

The withdrawal of foreign military personnel, particularly Indian troops, was a central point in President Muizzu's presidential campaign. It was also included among his targets for the first 100 days in office, and upon assuming power on November 17, Muizzu officially communicated the request to the Indian government. According to the government, there are 77 Indian military personnel in the Maldives.

Muizzu has said he will maintain close relations with any country that respects the Maldives' independence and sovereignty.