Maldives issues military demand — RT World News

The President’s Office says India has at least 77 military personnel stationed in the country, and they need to leave

The Maldives has officially called on India to withdraw all its military personnel stationed on its soil, the office of the President of the Maldives said in a statement on Sunday, adding that 77 Indian soldiers are currently present in the archipelago nation located in the Indian Ocean.

The island nation’s new president, Mohamed Moiizo, took office on Friday after becoming the fifth democratically elected leader of the Maldives. The key to his victory at the ballot box was a pledge to remove any foreign military influence from the country. Moizu, who is seen as pro-China, also campaigned on balancing trade and reducing Indian influence in the Maldives, in contrast to his predecessor Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, who built close ties with New Delhi.

In a press release issued on Sunday, the office of the President of the Maldives said it was officially revealing this “The presence of 77 Indian military personnel stationed within Maldivian territory.” She added that the majority of the forces involved participate in the operations of the various aircraft, while others are responsible for their maintenance and engineering.

He gave to the Maldivian people [President Muizzu] “A strong mandate to make the request to India and expressed the hope that India will respect the democratic will of the people of Maldives.” Moiso’s office said separately on Saturday, as part of his request for the Indian Army’s withdrawal.

The Associated Press (AP) reported that the Indian Army is using helicopters in the area to help rescue people who are stranded in the Maldives or facing various types of dangers.

The Indian Ministry of Defense has not yet officially commented on the request. An unnamed senior official in the Indian government of Narendra Modi said, according to what Reuters reported on Sunday, that “It was agreed that the two governments will discuss practical solutions to continue cooperation.” The news agency said the official did not clarify whether India intends to remove its military presence.

In a meeting with newly elected Moizu on Saturday, India’s Minister of Earth Sciences, Kiren Rijiju, “He expressed his aspiration to strengthen a constructive relationship with the Maldives.” The President’s Office added, while “Recognizing the presence of a vibrant Indian community residing in the Maldives.”

The AP noted that the September presidential election, in which Moizo won a surprise victory, was generally seen as a referendum on whether Maldivians would prefer China or India to have influence over the archipelago.

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