Indian soldiers have to leave the Maldives by March 15. This was requested by the administration of the country’s president, Mohamed Muizzu, elected in October last year. The previous authorities of the country, famous for its paradise beaches and luxurious resorts, pursued a friendly policy towards India. Now, however, the Maldives is making a turn towards rival China.
The Maldives is strategically located in the center of the Indian Ocean, close to important maritime transport routes. The country has traditionally been in the sphere of influence Indiawhich allowed Delhi to monitor a large area of the ocean.
Chinawhich have been developing and modernizing their navy in recent years, are trying to gain access to the strategic archipelago and protect the nearby routes of importing raw materials from the Persian Gulf countries.
Muizzu won elections presidential election last September, defeating Ibrahim Solih in the second round. One of his election promises was to remove the small Indian military contingent in the Maldives, numbering about 80 soldiers.
Time to leave the country
– At the meeting, the Maldivian delegation proposed on behalf of President Muizzu to remove Indian soldiers by March 15. This date was proposed by the government, especially the president. Discussions are ongoing, said Ahmed Nazim, a representative of the president’s office, after the talks between the delegations of both countries. – The most important point to note is that Indian soldiers cannot stay in the Maldives. This is the policy of this government. This is also the president’s promise and what the people of the Maldives want, the official added.
Return to the Middle Kingdom
The Maldives is strengthening ties with China. During his first state visit to the country, Muizzu agreed last week to upgrade bilateral relations to the level of a “comprehensive partnership of strategic cooperation”, which is expected to pave the way for increased Chinese investments in the Maldives. According to data from the World Bank, the Maldives has a debt to China of USD 1.37 billion, which corresponds to approximately 20 percent. the country’s entire public debt.
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