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Indian Troops Withdrawal from Maldives



  Mar 13, 2024

Indian Troops Withdrawal from Maldives


1. Why are Indian troops withdrawing from the Maldives?

Indian troops are withdrawing from the Maldives as a fulfillment of President Mohamed Muizzu’s election campaign promise, which was termed the ‘India out’ campaign. This decision reflects a change in the Maldives’ foreign policy and military cooperation preferences under President Muizzu’s administration.
 

2. How many Indian troops were deployed in the Maldives?

The exact number of Indian troops stationed in the Maldives has not been publicly disclosed. However, reports indicate that around 25 Indian troops deployed in the southernmost atoll of Addu have already left, with the remaining personnel expected to withdraw in batches by May 10.
 

3. What was the role of the Indian troops in the Maldives?

The Indian troops were primarily stationed in the Maldives to operate India-gifted aircraft and helicopters, as part of a security cooperation agreement between the two countries. Their presence was aimed at enhancing the Maldives’ maritime surveillance capabilities and disaster response readiness.
 

4. What led to the decision for their withdrawal?

The withdrawal decision came after President Muizzu’s consistent demand for the removal of Indian troops, citing the need to preserve the Maldives’ sovereignty. This stance was a key aspect of his political campaign, leading to negotiations between the Maldives and India that eventually facilitated the withdrawal agreement.
 

5. What will replace the Indian military presence in the Maldives?

A technical team from India has reached the Maldives to replace the departing troops, indicating a shift from a military to a technical collaboration. Additionally, the Maldives has signed agreements with China and Turkey to receive military assistance and surveillance drones, respectively, signaling a diversification of its military and strategic partnerships.
 

6. How does China fit into the Maldives’ new strategic plans?

Following the troop withdrawal, the Maldives has signed a pact with China to strengthen bilateral military ties. This agreement includes provisions for non-lethal military equipment and military training, which President Muizzu stated would bolster the Maldives’ independence and autonomy.
 

7. What has been the international reaction to this development?

China has publicly supported the Maldives’ decision, emphasizing the importance of sovereignty and equal international cooperation. The reorientation of the Maldives’ foreign and defense policies underlines the evolving geopolitical dynamics in the Indian Ocean region.
 

8. What does this mean for India-Maldives relations?

While the troop withdrawal represents a shift in the Maldives’ defense cooperation strategy, both countries have indicated a commitment to maintaining their bilateral relationship. The deployment of an Indian technical team suggests that cooperation in other areas, particularly technical and economic spheres, is expected to continue.


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