“India and Maldives Resolve Differences Through Mutual Solutions”

"India and Maldives Find Mutual Solutions in Diplomatic Row Over Troop Deployment"

In a recent diplomatic development between India and the Maldives, the two nations have reached a consensus on “mutually workable solutions” regarding the presence of Indian troops in the archipelago. The meeting held in the Indian capital addressed a range of issues related to bilateral cooperation, including the ongoing development cooperation projects.

The Ministry of External Affairs released a statement affirming that both sides have agreed on measures to enhance their partnership. The discussions specifically focused on expediting the implementation of ongoing development projects. Notably, the statement did not explicitly mention the withdrawal of Indian troops from the Maldives.

India currently has a deployment of approximately 80 personnel, including medical staff, tasked with operating three aircraft for patrolling the vast maritime territory of the Maldives. The diplomatic discussions have led to an agreement on “mutually workable solutions” to enable the continued operation of Indian aviation platforms providing humanitarian and medical evacuation services to the Maldivian people.

According to the Maldivian foreign ministry, a significant outcome of the meeting is the decision that the Government of India will replace military personnel in one of the three aviation platforms by March 10. The complete replacement of military personnel in the other two platforms is set to be finalized by May 10. This move comes amidst concerns raised by the Maldivian President Mohamed Muizzu, who had pledged to evict Indian forces upon coming to power in November.

The establishment of a core group was agreed upon during a meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Muizzu on the sidelines of the COP28 summit in Dubai in December. President Muizzu’s call for the withdrawal of Indian troops by March 15, following his state visit to China, added complexity to the diplomatic relations between India and the Maldives.

While New Delhi views the Indian Ocean archipelago as within its sphere of influence, the Maldives has shifted towards a closer association with China, its largest external creditor. The diplomatic discussions and the agreement on replacing military personnel indicate a commitment from both sides to navigate the complexities of their relationship and find solutions that address concerns on all fronts.

Sources By Agencies

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