In a significant turn of events, the Maldives government has formally urged India to withdraw its military personnel from the country. The request was made by President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu during a meeting with India’s Minister of Earth Sciences, Kiren Rijiju, at the Maldives President’s Office, as confirmed in a press release issued by the Maldives President’s office.
The release stated that President Muizzu explicitly conveyed the request for the withdrawal of Indian military personnel during his meeting with Minister Kiren Rijiju. Notably, Rijiju represented India at the inauguration of the Maldives’ new leader, marking a change from previous high-level representations where the Prime Minister of India was present.
Prior to his election, President Muizzu emphasized his commitment to swiftly removing the presence of Indian military forces from the Maldives. This commitment was reaffirmed during his inauguration, where he highlighted the paramount importance of maintaining the Maldives’ independence and sovereignty by ensuring it remains devoid of any foreign military presence.
At 45 years old, Muizzu, regarded as a pro-China politician, assumes office as the eighth President of the Maldives. His stance on the withdrawal of foreign military presence underscores a shift in the country’s geopolitical approach.
In response to this development, the Ministry of External Affairs acknowledged the historical cooperation between India and the Maldives, expressing India’s anticipation of continuing their collaboration and partnership.
The formal request for the withdrawal of Indian military personnel from the Maldives sets the stage for potential adjustments in the geopolitical landscape of the Indian Ocean region, signaling a nuanced shift in bilateral relations between India and the Maldives.
As this request unfolds, it invites scrutiny over the future dynamics of regional alliances and the impact on diplomatic relations between India and the Maldives, especially considering the historical ties and strategic interests of both nations in the region.