The newly elected president of the Maldives, Mohamed Muiz, has announced that he will remove all Indian troops from the island nation within a week of taking office on November 17. Muiz, who defeated incumbent Ibrahim Mohamed Solih in a runoff election on October 2, said he was fulfilling his campaign promise to protect the sovereignty and independence of the Maldives.
Muiz’s main campaign theme was about an alleged threat to the Maldives’ sovereignty by some Indian military personnel on an island called Uthuru Thilafalhu (UTF), where India is building a dockyard under an agreement with Solih’s government.
Muiz claimed that UTF was a foreign base or under the influence of foreign forces, a charge that was denied by the Maldivian Defence Ministry. Muiz said he would not stand for a foreign military staying in the Maldives against the will of its citizens.