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Maldives asks India to withdraw troops by mid-March as dispute intensifies

Maldives:

The President of the Maldives asked India on Sunday (January 14) to withdraw its troops by March 15, a day after he returned home after signing a series of agreements with China.

New Delhi considers the Indian Ocean island nation to be within its sphere of influence, but the Maldives has turned to China, its biggest external creditor.

The March withdrawal deadline was set on Sunday during talks between Maldives and Indian officials, and a senior aide to Maldivian President Mohamed Muizzu said it was to fulfill Muizzu’s long-held campaign promise.

Muizou’s Public Policy Minister Abdulla Nazim Ibrahim told reporters: “The president made this request at a meeting of the high-level committee between the two countries… The proposal is currently under consideration. “

India has deployed about 89 personnel in the Maldives, including medical personnel, and also operates three aircraft to patrol the vast waters of the archipelago.

New Delhi’s foreign ministry said on Sunday that diplomats had discussed how to find “mutually workable solutions” to allow India to continue air operations, which it said included the provision of “humanitarian and medical evacuation” services. The department said the two sides would hold further talks but did not provide a specific date.

After returning to the capital Male on Saturday, Muizou said that although the Maldives is small, it does not mean that anyone can bully the Maldives. “We are not another country’s backyard. We are an independent country,” Muizum

said. “China respects this territory,” Muizum said in Dhivehi, according to the local Mihaaru newspaper. Complete Policy”.

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Muizu denied trying to redraw the regional balance by bringing in Chinese troops to replace Indian troops.

Muizu’s visit to China last week was his first state visit since becoming president. During his visit to China, Muizu met with Chinese President Xi Jinping and signed more than 20 agreements, including “infrastructure construction, medical care, improvement of people’s livelihood, new energy, agriculture and marine environmental protection”. The two countries also jointly announced that they would upgrade their relationship to a comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership.

Earlier this month, three Maldivian ministers called Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi a “clown,” a “terrorist” and an “Israeli puppet” on social media platforms, in response to a piece of propaganda Response to video of Lakshadweep Tourism, Lakshadweep is a union territory on the Arabian Sea in India. The incident has heightened tensions between the Maldives and New Delhi.

Bollywood actors and some of India’s cricket superstars have responded by calling on fellow Indians to boycott their southern neighbor and plan their next vacation at home instead. Tourism accounts for nearly 1/3 of the Maldives economy, with Indians accounting for the largest proportion of foreign tourists.

Muizu suspended several ministers over the incident, saying their comments did not reflect government policy. However, after returning from China, Muizu announced plans to wean the Maldives off its dependence on India.

Muizou said the Maldives will reduce its reliance on Indian healthcare and medicines and allow its citizens to travel to more countries where the government pays for medical care. Officials said most eligible citizens are currently receiving treatment in India, with a smaller number receiving treatment in Sri Lanka and Thailand.

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Currently, most medicines in the Maldives are imported from India, and Muizou said Male will now look to import medicines from the United States and European countries. Muizu is also looking to replace imported staple foods and education.

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