President Dr. Muizzu has said that the lack of withdrawal of Indian troops is a neglect of the democratic will of the people of Maldives.
The President said this in an interview with the Times of India (TOI). This is President Muizzu's first interview with an Indian media since taking office.
Asked about the Indian troops, the President said the people of Maldives had clearly said no to the presence of any country's troops in Maldives during the last presidential election.
Noting that only Indian troops are currently stationed in Maldives, the President said he had asked India to withdraw their troops.
President Muizzu stated that he believes India, the world's largest democracy and with long- standing democratic traditions, will respect the democratic aspirations of the people of Maldives.
He said the presence of foreign troops in Maldives without the consent of the Parliament was against the spirit of the Constitution. The strong historical ties and brotherly attitudes of the people of Maldives and India are enough to allow the issue to be resolved through dialogue.
"The relationship between the two countries is strong enough to maintain it without a permanent military presence in Maldives. If India violates the people's decision, the future of Maldives’ democracy will be endangered," the President has stated.
But he believes things will not go that far.
According to the President, the government is pursuing a pro-Maldives policy and the principle is to protect and promote the interests of Maldives. He will work to maintain and promote peace and security at the regional and international levels.
He will seek to enhance Maldives’ economic and institutional resilience, thereby enabling Maldives to play a more credible role in working with partners in maintaining security in the Indian Ocean.
The government has said that there are currently 88 Indian troops in Maldives