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'Not Even Those In Civilian Clothes': Maldives Prez Muizzu Orders Indian Officials To Leave By May 10

Mohamed Muizzu’s statement comes days after an Indian civilian team landed in the Maldives to take charge of one of the three aviation platforms in the island nation, well ahead of the March 10 deadline agreed by the India and Maldives for the withdrawal of Indian military personnel.

President Muizzu stated that his government’s succeeded in 'expelling Indian troops'
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Maldives President Mohamed Muizzu has said that no Indian military personnel, "not even those in civilian clothing", would be present inside the island nation after May 10, a media report said on Tuesday.

Mohamed Muizzu’s statement comes days after an Indian civilian team landed in the Maldives to take charge of one of the three aviation platforms in the island nation, well ahead of the March 10 deadline agreed by the India and Maldives for the withdrawal of Indian military personnel.

Addressing an event, the President stated that due to his government’s success in "expelling Indian troops from the country", people who spread false rumours, "are attempting to twist the situation", news agency PTI cited a report by news portal Edition.mv.

“That these people [Indian military] are not departing, that they are returning after changing their uniforms into civilian clothing. We must not indulge such thoughts that instil doubts in our hearts and spread lies,” the portal quoted Muizzu as saying.

“There will be no Indian troops in the country come May 10. Not in uniform and not in civilian clothing. The Indian military will not be residing in this country in any form of clothing. I state this with confidence,” he said, on a day when his country signed an agreement with China to receive free military aid.

Muizzu, widely regarded as a pro-China leader, won the Maldives presidential election in October 2023 by defeating India-friendly Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.

Muizzu leads the People's National Congress, a party that presided over an influx of Chinese loans when it last held power in the country, known for its luxury beach resorts and celebrity tourists.

Soon after taking oath as the President of Maldives on November 17, Mohamed Muizzu had formally requested India to withdraw 88 military personnel from his country by March 15, saying the Maldivian people have given him a "strong mandate" to make this request to New Delhi.

Earlier last month, after a high-level meeting in Delhi on February 2 between the two sides, the Maldivian foreign ministry said India would replace its military personnel operating the three aviation platforms in the Maldives by May 10 and the first phase of the process would be completed by March 10.

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