India has agreed to replace its military personnel operating three aviation platforms in the Maldives by May 10.
This decision comes after a series of high-level meetings between Indian and Maldivian officials, which aimed to address the request made by Maldivian President Mohamed Muizzu for the withdrawal of Indian military personnel.
President Muizzu, who took office on November 17, 2023, had called for the removal of Indian forces by March 15 as part of his election promise.
The first phase of the replacement process is scheduled to be completed by March 10, with one of the three aviation platforms transitioning from Indian military to possibly civilian operators with the necessary expertise. The remaining two platforms are expected to follow suit by the May deadline.
Approximately 80 Indian military personnel are currently stationed in the Maldives, primarily tasked with operating two helicopters and an aircraft that have been instrumental in conducting medical evacuations and humanitarian missions.
”Both sides agreed that the government of India will replace the military personnel in one of the three aviation platforms by March 10, and will complete replacing military personnel in the other two platforms by May 10,” the Maldives Foreign Ministry statement said.