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News: Recently, the newly elected President of the Maldives, Mohamed Muizzu, has stated his intention to withdraw Indian troops from the Maldives.
• Maldives and India have historically shared a close relationship due to their geographic proximity, aligned security interests, and cultural connections.
• India has invested significantly in Maldives, particularly under the Neighbourhood First policy and the Security and Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR) initiative, leading to increased security cooperation between the two nations.
• India has also deepened its relationship with Maldives through initiatives like the Colombo Security Conclave and financial assistance for projects such as the Greater Male Connectivity.
Concerns around removal of Indian troops from Maldives
• Concerns for Maldives - The removal of Indian troops from the Maldives may affect the nation’s diplomatic balance with China and strain relations with France, the US, and India. Moreover, India should also explore options like relocating troops and radar stations to an Indian island on the Laccadive Ridge.
• Impact on India - India has matched China’s development efforts in the Maldives, and past tensions with Maldives have not seriously damaged bilateral ties. Hence, the current statement by given by Muizzu may need further observation.
• India-Maldives relations has seen turbulence in the past but it has come out of it and recent statements from the new President needs further observation but Indian diplomacy has shown intent and proactive approach making it capable to overcome such issues.