Former Maldivian Foreign Minister Rebukes President’s Allegations of Indian Troops, Calls Them ‘String of Lies’

It is noteworthy that the issue of Indian troop presence in the Maldives was a central campaign point for Muizzu's party. Despite this, reports indicate that approximately 70 Indian troops

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Abdulla Shahid, the former Maldivian Minister of Foreign Affairs, has publicly denounced President Mohamed Muizzu’s claims regarding the presence of “thousands of Indian military personnel” in the Maldives, labeling them as yet another fabrication in a series of falsehoods. Shahid asserted that there are no armed foreign soldiers stationed in the country, refuting the president’s assertions.

Taking to social media, Shahid, who now serves as the newly elected president of the Maldivian Democratic Party, expressed his dismay over the situation. “100 days in, it’s clear: President Muizzu’s claims of ‘thousands of Indian military personnel’ were just another in a string of lies,” he stated firmly. He highlighted the lack of specificity from the current administration regarding these allegations, emphasizing that no armed foreign soldiers are present in the Maldives.

In a resounding call for transparency and truth, Shahid stressed the importance of upholding these principles. “Transparency matters and the truth must prevail,” he reiterated, underlining the necessity of honesty and clarity in governance.

It is noteworthy that the issue of Indian troop presence in the Maldives was a central campaign point for Muizzu’s party. Despite this, reports indicate that approximately 70 Indian troops, accompanied by Dornier 228 maritime patrol aircraft and two HAL Dhruv helicopters, remain stationed in the Maldives.

Upon assuming office, President Muizzu promptly requested the withdrawal of Indian military personnel from the Maldives. In December of the previous year, Muizzu announced that diplomatic negotiations had resulted in an agreement with the Indian government for the withdrawal of troops.

Detailing the terms of the agreement, Muizzu outlined a phased withdrawal plan, with military personnel from one of the three aviation platforms scheduled to depart before March 10, 2024, and those from the remaining two platforms to follow suit by May 10, 2024. However, recent statements from the Indian Ministry of External Affairs indicate that while military personnel will be replaced with Indian technical staff at aviation platforms, no full withdrawal is imminent.

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