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Former Maldivian minister of foreign affairs Abdulla Shahid said on Saturday that the claims made by Maldivian President Mohamed Muizzu about “thousands of Indian military personnel” were just another in a string of lies, adding that there are no armed foreign soldiers stationed in their country.

Posting on his social media account X, the newly elected president of the Maldivian Democratic Party said, “100 days in, it’s clear: President Muizzu’s claims of ‘thousands of Indian military personnel’ were just another in a string of lies. The current administration’s inability to provide specific numbers speaks volumes. There are no armed foreign soldiers stationed in the country.”

He further stressed that transparency matters and that the truth must prevail.

“Transparency matters, and the truth must prevail,” he stated.

Notably, the removal of Indian troops in the Maldives was the main 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.

On the second day of assuming office, Muizzu officially requested the Indian government withdraw its military personnel from the Maldives.

In December last year, Muizzu claimed that, after talks with the Indian government, an agreement was reached to withdraw Indian military personnel.

The president also stated that diplomatic negotiations were underway for the withdrawal of Indian troops. He detailed that, as agreed in the last negotiations, the military personnel on one of the three aviation platforms would be withdrawn before March 10, 2024, and the military personnel on the remaining two platforms would be withdrawn before May 10, 2024.

Earlier this month, the Ministry of External Affairs said that India will replace military personnel at aviation platforms in the Maldives with competent Indian technical personnel.