India fully withdraws army from Maldives ahead of May 10 deadline

Military exercise between the Indian Army and the Maldives National Defence Force in June 2023. [Photo: PIB]

India has withdrawn all its army from the Maldives, the government has said, ahead of the May 10 deadline set by President Mohamed Muizzu for the complete withdrawal of Indian military personnel from his country.

President Muizzu had set May 10 as the deadline for the withdrawal of the Indian military personnel from his country. Repatriation of some 90 Indian military personnel stationed in the Maldives was a key pledge of Muizzu during his presidential campaign last year.

The last batch of Indian army personnel stationed in the Maldives have been repatriated, confirmed Heena Waleed, President’s Office Chief Spokesperson told news portal, without giving the number of personnel.

Earlier, the Maldives government announced that 51 of these personnel were repatriated to India on Monday. It had also announced the presence of 89 personnel, citing official documents.

At a media briefing in New Delhi on Thursday, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal said the first and the second batches of the Indian personnel returned to India and “now deputation of competent Indian technical personnel has taken place” to operate the three Indian aviation platforms.

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