The Maldives government has officially disclosed the presence of 77 Indian military personnel stationed within Maldivian territory. This information was made public by the Under Secretary for Public Policy at the President's Office Uz. Mohamed Firzul Abdulla Khaleel, during a press conference held this evening.
At the press briefing, Uz Mohamed Firzul outlined the specific roles of the Indian military personnel in the Maldives. He specified that 24 individuals are involved in helicopter operations, 25 are engaged in the operations of a Dornier aircraft, 26 are assigned to a second helicopter's operations, and an additional two individuals are responsible for the maintenance and engineering works of these aircraft.
Uz Mohamed Firzul emphasized President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu's commitment to address public concerns regarding the presence of foreign military forces within Maldivian territory. He asserted that the administration would annul any decisions undermining the nation's sovereignty made by previous administrations, and disclosed the discovery of over 100 bilateral agreements within the past five years, which are currently under examination.
Further, the Under Secretary for Public Policy clarified key decisions made during the first cabinet meeting of President Dr. Muizzu's administration. He highlighted the formation of three Cabinet Councils — the Social Council, the Economic Council, and the Visitor Economic Council— and the adoption of the "Hafuthaa 14" roadmap as major initiatives.
Vice President Uz Hussain Mohamed Latheef will preside over the Social Council, while Minister of Economic Development and Trade Mohamed Saeed will lead the Economic Council. The newly formed Visitor Economic Council will be chaired by President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu.
The establishment of the Visitor Economic Council aligns with the President's commitment to expanding tourism, the mainstay of the Maldives' economy. The council's mandate also includes promoting and diversifying the tourism sector.
During the press conference, Uz Firzul addressed reporters' questions regarding the new government.