World News
Get all the latest news from India's closest neighbors overseas before it gets cold.

India Replaces 76 Military Personnel with Civilian Employees in Maldives

© AP Photo / Eranga JayawardenaMaldivian army soldiers
Maldivian army soldiers - Sputnik India, 1920, 11.05.2024
Indian military personnel stationed in the Maldives to operate two helicopter platforms and a Dornier aircraft primarily for medical evacuation were repatriated by Friday, as per the May 10 deadline set after an agreement between the two countries in February in New Delhi.
Maldives Minister of Foreign Affairs Moosa Zameer on Saturday said that 76 Indian military personnel were replaced by civilian employees of the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited which manufactured the helicopters gifted by India.
His statement put an end to the suspense over the exact number of troops that were repatriated, as India completed the withdrawal process ahead of the May 10 deadline.
This decision to repatriate all Indian troops from the island country was made in response to the demand made by pro-China President Mohamed Muizzu within hours of his assuming office in November.
According to the local media reports on Saturday, Zameer addressed a press conference the day after his first official visit to India and provided detailed information about the presence of Indian soldiers stationed in Hanimaadhoo, Kadhdhoo, and Gan.
"As many as 26 soldiers withdrew from Gan between March 7 and March 9, while another 25 soldiers withdrew from Hanimaadhoo between April 7 and April 9, and 12 withdrew from Kadhdhoo on Tuesday. The final batch of 13 soldiers withdrew from Kadhdhoo on Thursday," the local media reports quoted Zameer.
The Maldivian government had previously reported the presence of 89 Indian soldiers in the Maldives to operate two military helicopters and a Dornier aircraft.
When questioned about concerns over the continued presence of Indian troops in the Maldives disguised as civilians, Zameer responded, "Indian military was not here under any deception, were they? So there is no reason for us to have doubts when the Government of India has stated that these are civilians.”
Minister of Defence Mohamed Ghassan Maumoon, who also addressed the press conference, reassured the public that the Maldives government had taken necessary measures to confirm the civilian status of the individuals replacing the Indian military personnel.
"The command and control of the aircraft are now officially under the Defence Ministry and Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF)," he said.
Maldivian army soldiers - Sputnik India, 1920, 07.05.2024
Political Affairs
Over 50 Indian Personnel to Withdraw From Maldives by May 10
To participate in the discussion
log in or register
Заголовок открываемого материала