India And Maldives Hold Third Core Group Meeting In Malé

India And Maldives Hold Third Core Group Meeting In Malé

On Sunday, India and the Maldives had the third edition of their Core Group meeting in Malé, focusing on Indian personnel deployment for aviation platforms in the island nation. As India had announced earlier, the meeting emphasised the withdrawal of Indian military personnel from the Maldives.

Maldivian President Mohamed Muizzu’s deadline for the withdrawal of Indian military personnel, set for March 10, propelled discussions. Both sides reviewed the delegation of Indian technical personnel enabling the operation of aviation platforms providing humanitarian and medical services to Maldivians.

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) affirmed discussions on broad bilateral cooperation. This included expediting ongoing development projects, enhancing trade and investment, and fostering people-to-people linkages through capacity building and travel.

The high-level Core Group agreed to hold its next meeting in New Delhi. Following the second meeting, the Maldivian foreign ministry disclosed India’s commitment to replacing all military personnel in two phases by May 10.

This development follows a period of complicated relationships. Since Muizzu’s presidency, relations have been strained due to his position on the Indian military presence and perceived alignment with China.

Despite political shifts, India values its relationship with the Maldives, emphasizing bilateral cooperation in defence and security.