President Mohamed Muizzu of the Maldives announced on Sunday that the Indian government has agreed to withdraw its troops from the island nation. The move aligns with President Muizzu’s campaign promise to reassess the “India first” policy in the archipelago and seek the removal of Indian military presence.
The announcement came after President Muizzu’s meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the COP28 summit in Dubai on Friday. Speaking to reporters at Velana International Airport upon returning from Dubai, President Muizzu stated that detailed discussions regarding the withdrawal of Indian troops had taken place during the transition and after his inauguration.
The president highlighted that multiple meetings with senior Indian officials, totaling about 4-5 sessions, had been conducted. He mentioned that a formal request for the withdrawal of Indian troops was submitted to India on November 18, just a day after assuming office, during his meeting with Kiren Rijiju.
President Muizzu expressed that the process is now advancing at the technical level between the two countries. He emphasized that India has agreed to the request, marking a significant development in the ongoing diplomatic discussions between the Maldives and India.