MALE, Maldives (Diya TV) — India and Maldives convened a high-level meeting in Male to review the ongoing transition of Indian military personnel to civilian operators for aircraft stationed in the Maldives. The meeting, the third in a series, underscores the commitment of both nations to reshape military dynamics in the region.

The Indian Ministry of External Affairs highlighted the review’s focus on deploying Indian technical personnel to ensure the uninterrupted operation of aviation platforms offering humanitarian and medical services in the Maldives. Similarly, the Maldivian foreign ministry acknowledged progress in replacing military personnel with civilians at these crucial aviation facilities.

The transition towards civilian management of aviation platforms began with the arrival of the first batch of civilian technical personnel in late February. This shift signals a pragmatic approach by India to fulfill the demand for Indian troop withdrawal, reflecting evolving bilateral relations.

The withdrawal of Indian troops from Addu, announced by Maldives’ defense forces earlier this month, marks a significant milestone in this recalibration process. Subsequent troop withdrawals are scheduled, affirming the timeline set during bilateral discussions.

President Muizzu’s insistence on Indian troop withdrawal resonates with his electoral promises and underscores the evolving political landscape in the Maldives. Despite diplomatic shifts, India remains a crucial partner, particularly in the tourism sector, emphasizing the interdependence between the two countries.

As both nations navigate this transitional phase, the meetings between Indian and Maldivian officials signify a commitment to stability and cooperation in the Indian Ocean region. The successful implementation of civilian management for aviation platforms sets a precedent for further bilateral engagements, reflecting the resilience of diplomatic ties amid changing global landscapes.

The third meeting of the India-Maldives High-Level Core Group emphasized continued cooperation across various sectors, including efforts to boost bilateral trade and investment and enhance people-to-people linkages. The next meeting is slated for New Delhi on a mutually agreeable date.

The transition of military personnel in the Maldives has been a focal point since President Muizzu’s election, indicating a shift in regional alliances.