Pro-China Maldives President Mohammed Muizzu Says Will Return Indian Military From Its Shores Soon

The newly elected Maldives President Mohamed Muizzu has widely been seen as pro-Chinese, while after his victory in the polls, China said that the country ‘respects the choice of the Maldivian people’.

Maldives new president Mohamed Muizzu

The newly elected pro-China Maldives President Mohamed Muizzu has said the country will work to return Indian military personnel from its shores "as soon as possible,"

Muizzu insisted that it was the top foreign policy priority for country after he won the Maldives' presidential election last month, beating incumbent president Ibrahim Solih in a second-round runoff, Reuters reported.

Mohamed Muizzu will take office on November 17. Returning Indian military was a core policy of his election campaign.

"I will be holding frank and detailed diplomatic consultations with India to work out details of sending back military personnel from the Maldives as soon as possible," he said.

He added: "The focus is not on the actual number of military personnel here, it is on not having any at all in the Maldives. We will discuss with the Indian government and find out a way forward for this."

Earlier, Mohamed Muizzu had said that he will stick to his campaign promise to remove Indian military personnel stationed in Maldives.

“The people have told us that they don't want foreign military here,” he had said.

“It happens to be Indian foreign military presence here,” he had reiterated earlier saying that he had already begun negotiations with New Delhi on removing its military presence, calling those talks “very successful already.”

“We want a bilateral relationship that’s mutually beneficial,” he said and pointed out that Indian soldiers will not be replaced by troops from other countries.

“We want assistance, cooperation with all the countries,” he told Bloomberg.

Mohamed Muizzu has widely been seen as pro-Chinese. After his victory in the polls, China's foreign ministry said that the country "respects the choice of the Maldivian people and congratulates President-elect Mohamed Muizzu".

"China is willing to work with the Maldives to consolidate the traditional friendship, deepen mutually beneficial cooperation and push for continuous new progress," the Chinese ministry had said.