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SOURCE: ANI

The first batch of Indian personnel in the Maldives has been replaced by technical personnel, the Ministry of External Affairs said on Friday. “The turnaround of the first team of personnel who were operating the ALH helicopter has been completed. So, the first batch that had to be replaced has been completed. The turnaround has happened,” MEA spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal said in a weekly briefing. Notably, the Mohamed Muizzu-led Maldives government has formally requested that India withdraw its troops from Male.

The external affairs ministry earlier informed that both India and the Maldives have agreed on a set of mutually workable solutions to enable the continued operation of Indian aviation platforms that provide humanitarian and medical evacuation services to the people of the Maldives. Last month, the MEA said that the first batch of Indian technical personnel reached Maldives to replace the defence personnel. India and the Maldives have held two high-level core group meetings and the third one is expected to take place soon.

The removal of Indian troops from the country was the main election campaign of Muizzu’s party. Currently, there are around 70 Indian troops, along with Dornier 228 maritime patrol aircraft and two HAL Dhruv helicopters, stationed in the Maldives. Recently, Muizzu again said that “no Indian military personnel” will remain in the country after May 10, “be it in uniform or civilian clothing,” Maldives-based The Edition reported. Meanwhile, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar affirmed his belief that the row with the Maldives will be resolved through diplomacy.

He highlighted that Indian military personnel and aviation platforms in the Maldives have been solely working for the benefit of local people and said that sometimes misunderstandings take place between two nations. “Humanity is humanity. Diplomacy is diplomacy, and politics is politics. The whole world doesn’t always run with obligation‚Ķso if we have encountered such a situation, the solution will come through diplomacy only,” Jaishankar said at an event. “We have to make people understand, sometimes people don’t even have complete knowledge of things, sometimes people get misguided on what others say,” he said.