India to replace military personnel in Maldives aviation platforms by May 10

The decision was announced following a high-level meeting between the two nations in Delhi, where the two nations addressed the ongoing issue of the withdrawal of Indian military personnel from the island nation.

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Courtesy: ANI/File

India and the Maldives have reached a mutual agreement to replace Indian military personnel in the three aviation platforms in the Maldives by May 10, with the initial phase slated for completion by March 10. The decision was announced following a high-level meeting between the two nations in Delhi, where the two nations addressed the ongoing issue of the withdrawal of Indian military personnel from the island nation.

What decisions were made after core group meeting?

The announcement by the Maldivian Foreign Ministry came hours after the conclusion of the India-Maldives core group meeting in Delhi. The focus of the meeting was to find collaborative solutions to the withdrawal of Indian military personnel from the Maldives, a matter that has been a matter of serious concern between the two nations.

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said that both sides agreed on a 'set of mutually workable solutions' to ensure the continued operation of Indian aviation platforms in the Maldives. These platforms play a crucial role in providing humanitarian and medical evacuation services to the people of the Maldives.

Upcoming high-level core group meeting

The MEA's statement outlined plans for the next meeting of the high-level core group, scheduled to take place in Male on a mutually convenient date. 

The Maldivian foreign ministry said, "Both sides agreed that the Government of India will replace the military personnel in one of the three aviation platforms by March 10 and will complete replacing military personnel in the other two platforms by May 10."

Shifting dynamics in India-Maldives relations

The establishment of the core group was initiated following a meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Maldivian President Mohamed Muizzu during the COP28 summit in Dubai in December. The relationship between India and the Maldives has undergone challenges since President Muizzu assumed power in November, with the leader expressing intentions to evict Indian military personnel from the country.

The shift in dynamics has inducted new considerations and discussions to ensure a mutually beneficial and cooperative relationship. The Maldives, positioned as a crucial maritime neighbor in the Indian Ocean Region, has historically shared strong ties with India, particularly in the areas of defense and security.