New Delhi, Male in talks for keeping Indian military platforms in Maldives


India and the Maldives are in discussions for keeping the Indian military platforms in the island nation and a core group that both sides agreed to set up will look at the details relating to it, official sources said on Sunday.

Earlier in the day, Maldivian President Mohamed Muizzu reportedly told journalists that New Delhi has agreed to withdraw its military personnel from his country.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Muizzu held talks on the sidelines of the COP28 Summit in Dubai on Friday and it is understood that the issue had figured in the meeting.

“The issue was briefly discussed in Dubai,” said a source.

Following the meeting between Modi and Muizzu, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said that the two leaders also discussed ways to further deepen bilateral partnership, adding: “In this regard, they agreed to set up a core group.”

The sources said the Maldivian side has acknowledged the utility of the Indian military platforms.

“The fact that it is an important segment of our bilateral development partnership is recognised by both sides,” the source said.

“Discussions on how to keep them operational are ongoing. The core group that both sides have agreed to set up will look at details of how to take this forward,” the source said.

The sources said the continued usefulness of the Indian platforms as it was recognised in discussions needs to be looked at in a proper perspective.

The Maldives is one of India’s key maritime neighbours in the Indian Ocean Region and the overall bilateral ties, including in areas of defence and security, witnessed an upward trajectory under the previous government in Male.

Muizzu, who is widely seen as a pro-China leader, was sworn in as the new Maldivian President on November 17.

A day after taking charge of the top office, he called for the withdrawal of Indian military personnel from the Maldives.

Muizzu has maintained that he will keep his election promise of evicting Indian military personnel from his country.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


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