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India to Replace Military Personnel with Technical Staff in Maldives

India has announced the replacement of military personnel operating aviation platforms in the Maldives with competent Indian technical personnel. This decision comes after negotiations between Indian and Maldivian authorities, with the latter expressing a clear demand for the withdrawal of Indian troops.

Announcement of Replacement

MEA Spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal confirmed the decision, stating that the current military personnel will be substituted with skilled technical personnel. This move aims to maintain operational expertise while addressing the Maldives’ request for the withdrawal of Indian troops.

Timeline for Implementation

  1. First Aircraft Replacement: Indian technical personnel will replace military personnel in one aircraft by March 10.
  2. Remaining Aircraft Replacement: Replacement of military personnel in the other two aircraft will be completed by May 10.

Political Implications

  • Maldivian President Mohamed Muizzu highlighted the withdrawal of Indian military personnel as a significant factor in his electoral victory.
  • The demand for withdrawal was a cornerstone of the ruling alliance’s ‘India Out’ campaign, reflecting popular sentiment in the Maldives.

Request for Withdrawal

  • President Muizzu officially requested India to withdraw its troops, emphasizing the desire for prompt action.
  • Approximately 80 Indian military personnel are stationed in the Maldives to operate helicopters and a Dornier plane for medical evacuation and search and rescue missions.

 

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