India

India caves in to Maldives, decides to withdraw troops from archipelago

Malay: Caving in to the Maldives’s demand, India has finally decided to withdraw its troops from the Indian Ocean archipelago, its President Mohamed Muizzu has confirmed.

According to Kashmir Media Service, New Delhi was forced to swallow the bitter pill after Muizzu campaigned to alter the Maldives’s “India first” policy and remove the Indian military presence in the archipelago.

India has deployed its soldiers in the Maldives in the name of providing military equipment, disaster response assistance and assistance in building a naval dockyard.

Muizzu won the presidential election in September, having campaigned to alter the Maldives’s “India first” policy and promising the removal of a small Indian military presence of some 75 personnel.

“In the discussions we had, the Indian government has agreed to remove Indian soldiers,” Muizzu told reporters.

“We also agreed to set up a high level committee to solve issues related to development projects.”

Muizzu made the remarks following engagements on the sidelines of the COP28 climate summit with Indian officials.

A senior Indian government official in New Delhi told a London based news agency that discussions took place between India and the Maldives on the matter.

India’s ministry of foreign affairs did not immediately respond to the development.

India and China have been vying for influence in the region, with the coalition that supports Muizzu considered to have a leaning more towards China.

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