New Delhi: After being prodded by Male to withdraw its troops stationed in the island nation, India on Thursday said it will replace its personnel tasked with manning three aviation platforms in Maldives with “competent” technical persons. However, New Delhi clarified that it was firm in its assertion that it was important partner in the development of the Maldives.
“I would like to say that the present personnel will be replaced by competent Indian technical personnel,” External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal said.
After the second meeting of the high-level core group aimed at addressing military personnel issues, the Maldivian foreign ministry announced that India would replace its military contingent in two phases by May 10.
President Mohamed Muizzu stated on Monday that the initial group of Indian military personnel would be repatriated before March 10, with the remainder to follow suit by May 10.
The core group’s second meeting took place in New Delhi on February 2, with its establishment stemming from discussions between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Muizzu during the COP28 summit in Dubai last December.
Currently, approximately 80 Indian military personnel are stationed in the Maldives, primarily tasked with operating two helicopters and an aircraft for various medical evacuations and humanitarian missions.