President Dr Mohamed Muizzu has conveyed the Indian Government’s assurance to honour and respect the desire of the Maldivian people to abstain from accommodating foreign military presence within the country. The President made these remarks during a press briefing held today at the Velana International Airport, after concluding his official visits to the Republic of Türkiye and the United Arab Emirates.

The President reiterated the Administration's approach of ensuring the Maldives’ position as a welcoming and hospitable nation, underscoring the importance of mutual respect for security boundaries with other countries. In this regard, the President affirmed the Maldives' commitment to employing diplomatic channels as the primary instrument to ensure the absence of foreign military presence on its soil.

Furthermore, President Dr Muizzu highlighted that he had engaged in several fruitful dialogues with representatives of the Indian Government, specifically addressing the withdrawal of Indian military personnel from the Maldives. He recalled his meeting with Indian officials on the second day of assuming office, during which he officially requested the Government of India to withdraw its military personnel from the Maldives

The President further shared that after a series of constructive meetings and dialogues with the Indian Government, an agreement has been reached to withdraw Indian military personnel, which is currently in progress at a technical level.

Further, President Dr Muizzu highlighted that during his meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of COP28 in Dubai, both the leaders had agreed to establish a high-level committee comprising senior government officials representing both the Maldives and India, tasked with coordinating efforts to address the challenges associated with ongoing development projects in the Maldives.

Expressing his aspiration for the swift completion of the withdrawal of Indian military personnel from the Maldives, the President seeks to resolve the issue through diplomatic cooperation.