President of the Maldives Mohamed Muizz has asked the Indian government to withdraw the military from the island nation to protect its democracy. According to a report by Times of India, Muizzu said that if India did not withdraw its forces it would amount to disregarding the "democratic will" of the Maldivian people and jeopardizing the future of the democracy.

"Maldivian people have a very no to the idea of foreign military personnel being stationed in the Maldives. Right now, it is India that maintains such a presence in the Maldives. To hounour this mandate, I have requested India to return the military personnel," the President said.

"If our partners disregard the will of the great majority of the people of the Maldives, the future of democracy in the country will be in peril," he added.

He said that the presence of foreign military personnel, without parliamentary approval, is against the letter and spirit of the constitution.

He expressed confidence that the issue would be resolved through dialogue. "India is one of our closest friends. We share traditional and cultural roots. That is a historical fact. The relationship between two countries is growing at an intensified rate in areas such as trade, commerce, investment, and tourism".

Stressing bilateral ties with India, the Maldivan President backed the defence cooperation, including efforts to build Maldives National Defence Force.

"Defence cooperation in the maritime sector is a long-standing area of cooperation between our countries. We are confident that India's relationship with us is also based on the same principles," Muizzu said.

On his "pro-China" image, Muizzu said, "We will not be 'anti' any country or 'pro' any country. My government will pursue a 'pro-Maldives' policy".

Further, the Maldives President clarified on agreement for hydrographic surveys by the Indian Navy. He said they are not renewing the agreement with India because Maldives has its own national hydrography agency but will seek support from 'external partners' if needed.