Maldives will return Indian military as soon as possible, says incoming president

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Maldives will work to return Indian military personnel from its shores 'as soon as possible,' President-elect Mohamed Muizzu told Reuters on Sunday, insisting it was the top foreign policy priority for the tiny Indian Ocean island chain.

United States News, United States Headlines

Mohamed Muizzu, Maldives presidential candidate of the opposition party, People's National Congress speaks with the media personnel during the second round of a presidential election in Male, Maldives September 30, 2023.

"I will be holding frank and detailed diplomatic consultations with India to work out details of sending back military personnel from the Maldives as soon as possible," Muizzu, who will take office on Nov. 17, told Reuters in an online interview from Male. Rival Asian giants India and China have both invested millions of dollars in infrastructure in the islands as they seek to build influence.

Muizzu said he will seek details of an agreement signed with India to build a naval harbour for Maldivian forces, to clear up any concerns over Maldivian independence and sovereignty.

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