Gov't still determining extent of Indian military presence

President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu has stated that the government has not determined the extent of the Indian military presence in the Maldives.

Speaking at a press conference, President Muizzu said that the latest information obtained by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Defence show that 89 Indian military personnel are stationed in the Maldives, up from the previous estimate of 77. However, he said the exact number is still unknown and that a technical committee comprising the foreign ministry, defence ministry, and the Indiah High Commission has been formed to determine the exact number and begin the process of their withdrawal. He expressed his willingness to expel all foreign military personnel, reiterating that their presence is a threat to the country's sovereignty.

During the first press conference held by the new administration, the President's Office disclosed the presence of 77 Indian military personnel stationed within Maldivian territory. It specified that 24 individuals are involved in helicopter operations, 25 are engaged in the operations of a Dornier aircraft, 26 are assigned to a second helicopter's operations, and an additional two individuals are responsible for the maintenance and engineering works of these aircraft.

The documents show that Indian military personnel were first stationed in the Maldives in 2011 to operate the helicopter donated by India.