Maldives Asks India To Pull Troops Out By Mid-March

Maldives Asks India To Pull Troops Out By Mid-March

Jan. 16, 2024, 8:36 a.m.

The Maldives has reportedly asked India to withdraw its troops from the country by March 15.

The island nation in the Indian Ocean lies in the middle of a strategically important sea-lane where both China and India are jostling for influence.

Local media quoted the Maldivian presidential office as saying President Mohamed Muizzu proposed sending the soldiers home at a meeting with an Indian delegation in the capital of Male on Sunday.

The recently inaugurated president maintains excessive military cooperation with India could erode the Maldives' sovereignty. He's been reviewing the "India-first" policy of the previous administration and stepping up his pro-China stance since taking office in November.

The development comes just days after Muizzu made his first state visit to China and met with President Xi Jinping. The two leaders agreed to elevate bilateral ties to a "comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership" and witnessed the signing of 20 cooperation accords in infrastructure and other areas.

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