Feb 09, 2024, 12:07AM ISTSource: TOI.in
Upon the Maldives government’s request for withdrawal of Indian troops from Male, a second high-level meeting was conducted in New Delhi on February 2, as confirmed by MEA spokesperson Randir Jaiswal. The third meeting is scheduled later this month to delve deeper into the matter.Jaiswal further confirmed the replacement of military personnel with competent Indian technical personnel. The phased replacement will commence with personnel on one aviation platform by March 10, concluding with the full replacement on all three platforms by May 10, as mutually agreed.The focus is on practical solutions to ensure the uninterrupted operation of Indian aviation platforms in the Maldives, emphasizing mutual agreement on workable solutions for humanitarian and medvac services.Addressing earlier concerns, President Muizzu urged the Indian government to withdraw troops before March 15. Presently, around 70 Indian troops are stationed in the Maldives, accompanied by a maritime patrol aircraft and helicopters.Budgetary allocation to the Maldives in the Interim budget 2024-2025 has been revised to Rs 779 crore, clarifying conflicting reports, as highlighted by MEA spokesperson Jiswal. India reiterated its commitment as a development partner for the Maldives.