With Maldives' pro-China president-elect Mohamed Muizzu insisting on India pulling out military personnel from the archipelago, India reminded him that its partnership with the Indian Ocean country is based on efforts to jointly address shared challenges and priorities and that India helped saved more than 500 lives in the past five years through medical evacuation.

"Our cooperation with Maldives is based on jointly addressing shared challenges and priorities. The assistance that we provided have contributed significantly in areas like people's welfare, humanitarian assistance, disaster relief and combating illegal maritime activities," said external affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi in a weekly press.

"Over the last five years, more than 500 medical evacuations have been carried out by our personnel, saving 523 Maldivian lives. In the same period, more than 450 multi-faceted missions have been carried out to safeguard the maritime security of Maldives. India has also been first responder for Maldives in any disaster scenario, including Covid.

We look forward to constructively engaging with the incoming administration and discussing ways to enhance our relationship further," he added.

Muizzu had earlier said he would request New Delhi to withdraw its personnel and that he hopes to see the back of the troops in the first week itself of his presidency.