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Agreement between Maldives and India on withdrawal of troops can't be revealed: Male

A Maldivian Foreign Ministry official, who spoke to Mihaaru News on the condition of anonymity, said India and Male had signed an agreement in February this year but added the details of the same could not be made public.

Written By: Ajeet Kumar @Ajeet1994 Male Updated on: March 28, 2024 11:06 IST
Maldives President Mohamed Muizzu
Image Source : PTI Maldives President Mohamed Muizzu

Male: Ahead of the withdrawal of the second batch of Indian troops from Maldives, a senior foreign ministry official from President Mohamed Muizzu-led government said it will not disclose the agreement between both nations publically. According to a report by Maldivian media, a Maldivian Foreign Ministry official, who spoke to Mihaaru News on the condition of anonymity, said India and Male had signed an agreement in February this year but added the details of the same could not be made public. However, he did not give a clear reason behind the secrecy of the pact.

"The Ministry's reply noted that they are unable to reveal a copy of the deal and argued that this is done in accordance with Article 29 of the Right to Information Act," a news portal quoted the Ministry officials.

Earlier, when the officials met in New Delhi and Male respectively, both countries had released contradictory statements. The statement that was released by the Male side, did mention the date for the withdrawal of troops from the island nation but on the other side, the Ministry of External Affairs did not even mention any words on whether the Indian troops would be called back or not.

However, on March 12, India began withdrawing its personnel with the first batch of 25 soldiers. The second batch is expected to depart the country by April 10.

Muizzu's "India out" campaign 

Recently, Muizzu demanded that no Indian military personnel, not even those in civilian clothing, would be present inside his country after May 10. “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.

After a high-level meeting in New 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. India had agreed to remove its troops from the Maldives under the condition that a number of their civilians equivalent to the military presence are brought to operate the aircraft.

Also Read: Maldives ex-FM exposes 'lies' of President Muizzu, says 'no Indian armed soldiers stationed in country'

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