India, Maldives 2nd core group meeting to be held today over presence of Indian military personnel
New Delhi : India and Maldives will hold the second core group meeting in the national capital over the presence of Indian military personnel in the island nation, sources said.
The first meeting of the High-Level Core Group between the Maldives and India was held in Male on January 14.
India and the Maldives “agreed to fast-track the withdrawal of Indian military personnel” from the island nation, the Maldivian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said following the first core group meeting.
“During the meeting held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Maldives, both sides reviewed the existing bilateral cooperation. Discussions were held on a wide range of issues of mutual interest, including development cooperation,” the Maldives’ Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a press release earlier.
“Both sides expressed willingness to intensify cooperation and agreed to fast-track the withdrawal of Indian military personnel,” it also said.
“It was agreed that the second meeting of the High-Level Core Group will be held at a mutually convenient time,” it added.
On January 14, Ministry of External Affairs also said that India and the Maldives discussed finding a mutually workable solution to continue the operation of Indian aviation platforms that provide humanitarian and medical evacuation services to the people of the Maldives.
India and Maldives also discussed enhancing bilateral cooperation and expediting the implementation of ongoing projects.
It is pertinent to note that the removal of Indian troops in the Maldives was the main campaign of Maldivian President Mohamed Muizzu’s party.
Currently, there are around 70 Indian troops, along with Dornier 228 maritime patrol aircraft and two HAL Dhruv helicopters, stationed in the Maldives.
On the second day of assuming office, Muizzu officially requested the Indian government withdra its military personnel from the Maldives.
In December last year, President Muizzu claimed that, after dialogue with the Indian government, an agreement was reached to withdraw Indian military personnel.