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India begins withdrawal of troops from Maldives

Patrick D Costa

India has finally started withdrawing its troops from the Maldives after extensive diplomatic tension.

India has finally started withdrawing its troops from the Maldives after extensive diplomatic tension. On March 10, 25 soldiers were withdrawn and the rest will be brought back before the end of March.

NDTV reported this information in a report on Tuesday quoting the Maldives-based daily Miharur. Incidentally, India had deployed 89 Indian troops in the country based on the consent of the former President of Maldives Mohammad Nasheed. The main objective of this military deployment was to monitor China’s activities in the Indian Ocean.

But in addition to that, the Indian army also carried out vaccination programs, delivering food and daily necessities to the populated islands of the Maldives.

But one of the country’s leaders and pro-China politician Mohammad Muijju raised public opinion against the presence of Indian troops as against the independence and sovereignty of Maldives. He also urged India to withdraw its army personnel from Maldives after winning the presidential election last September.

He also set a deadline that India should withdraw its troops by March 2024.

Later, after a meeting with New Delhi, he extended this deadline till May 10.

Maldives was New Delhi’s most important strategic ally in the Indian Ocean region until Muijju came to power. However, since Muijzu came to power, on the one hand, there has been a cooling in this relationship, on the other hand, the possibility of increasing China’s influence in the region has increased.

Mohammad Muijju visited China last January. There, he has signed several agreements with Beijing related to Maldivian infrastructure, energy, marine research and agriculture.

On the other hand, India announced last month that the country will increase its naval activity in the Lakshadweep region from now on.

The distance from Maldives to Lakshadweep is only 130 km.

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