Defense Minister Mariya Ahmed Didi said on Wednesday that Indian military personnel in Maldives will not be armed.
In an interview to RaajjeTV’s Fashaa Iru show on Wednesday morning, Mariya said that Indian military personnel in Maldives will operate under direct orders from Maldives National Defense Force (MNDF).
“No Indian military personnel in Maldives will be armed with weapons. Despite how many doctors, pilots, mechanics, radiologists and gynecologists from the Indian military there are – they cannot even come here unless with express permission from the Maldivian government,” she said.
Mariya said that Indian military personnel cannot operate freely in Maldives, and that their operations will need to be approved by the Maldivian government.
“Even the duration of their stay is determined by us. And the military work they do is at our orders,” she said.
Mariya said that the Dornier aircrafts with Indian pilots donated by the Indian government to Maldives operate at the orders of the MNDF.
“Even Dornier pilots will not take off in the Maldivian territory unless assigned tasks by MNDF,” she said.
Mariya said that the Dornier aircrafts had proved to be immensely beneficial to Maldives, and had helped saved the lives of over 250 people.
Mariya’s comment comes as the opposition holds events protesting Indian military presence in Maldives, which they argue pose a threat to the country’s independence and sovereignty.