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Maldives Establishing 'Base' for Turkish Military Drone Operations

© Photo : TwitterMaldives Constructing a 'Base' to Operate Turkish Military Drones: Report
Maldives Constructing a 'Base' to Operate Turkish Military Drones: Report - Sputnik India, 1920, 10.03.2024
The Maldives has begun operating Turkish drones recently purchased from Ankara, according to a report. The drones would be used to monitor the Maldives' exclusive economic zone (EEZ).
Maldivian authorities have begun building a 'drone base' near the main international airport in Maafaru to operate military drones bought from Turkey, a news report said on Sunday.

According to a report in the Maldivian publication Mihaaru, construction materials for the drone base were brought to the island last week. Maldivian military personnel are also reportedly present at the site of the future base.

A 'special military team' from the Maldivian National Defence Forces (MNDF) is currently in Turkey to receive training on how to operate the Turkish drones.
Maldives President Mohamed Muizzu visited Turkiye within two weeks of being sworn in last November, making Ankara the first foreign destination of his presidency.
Muizzu is reported to have struck a deal with a Turkish drone manufacturer during the visit, although details have yet to be revealed.
However, in his speeches this month, Muizzu has indicated that his government remains committed to maintaining round-the-clock surveillance of the Maldives' maritime borders.

"This will allow us to feel that we are able to supervise our own country. This will allow us to feel independent,” Muizzu was quoted as saying by Mihaaru at an event last week, in an indication that drone operations have already begun.

Deadline for Indian Military Personnel Withdrawal

The development of a drone base was reported ahead of a 10 March "deadline" set by the Maldivian government for the withdrawal of Indian military personnel involved in operating three Indian aviation platforms in the nation.
Muizzu, who campaigned on an 'India Out' platform in the run-up to the presidential election, has called for the withdrawal of some 80 Indian personnel involved in the operation of Indian platforms, including Advanced Light Helicopters (ALH) and a Dornier aircraft.
The two nations have held two "high-level core group" meetings since January to find a solution.
After the second meeting in New Delhi on 2 February, a Maldivian statement said that 'both sides agreed' that New Delhi would 'replace' the military personnel on one of the three air platforms by 10 March and complete the replacement of the military personnel on the other two platforms by 10 May 2024.
MEA spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal told a regular briefing last month that Indian 'technical personnel' had arrived in Male to replace the military personnel.

But Muizzu said this week that his government won't allow Indian personnel on the archipelago after 10 May.

Maldives Inks Deal With China for Free Military Aid As India Gets Ready to Exit - Sputnik India, 1920, 05.03.2024
Political Affairs
Maldives Inks Deal With China for Free Military Aid As India Gets Ready to Exit
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