Maldives-India holds third meeting on deporting soldiers

India gifted helicopters and a Dornier aircraft to be utilized for medevac services in the Maldives

The third meeting of the India-Maldives High Level Core Group was held in Male' on Sunday.

According to the Ministry of External Affairs, India, at the third meeting, both sides reviewed the ongoing "deputation of Indian technical personnel" to enable continued operation of Indian aviation platforms providing humanitarian and medevac services to the Maldivian citizens.

Besides this, both sides also discussed on a wide range of issues related to mutual cooperation, and strengthening of bilateral ties. As such, both India and the Maldives discussed on expediting the implementation of ongoing development cooperation projects through regular convening of joint monitoring mechanisms.

Other topics discussed included efforts to boost bilateral trade and investment opportunities and enhancement of people-to-people linkages through capacity building and travel.

At the conclusion of the third High Level Core Group, both India and the Maldives agreed to hold the next meeting in New Delhi on a mutually convenient date.

The meeting between India and Maldives officials have come at a time when the bilateral relations between the two South Asian neighbors have deteriorated following an earlier incident involving few Maldivian government officials.

At the time President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu assumed office, the current administration claimed 88 Indian soldiers were stationed in the Maldives, but refrained from disclosing further details. Despite continued public urges to reveal details of said soldiers, the government deflected claiming it was confidential information.

Meanwhile, the first batch of Indian soldiers stationed in the Maldives have been repatriated back to home.

Earlier, President Muizzu revealed India has agreed to repatriate all of its soldiers before May 10th, 2024.