In what could be seen as a snub to India, Maldives has asked the New Delhi to withdraw its military helicopters and personnel posted in the island country following the expiry of an agreement in June between the two countries, news agency Reuters reported.

According to the Maldives' Ambassador in India, Ahmed Mohamed, the two military helicopters provided by New Delhi were mainly used for medical evacuations but were no longer required.

"They were very useful in the past but with the development of adequate infrastructure, facilities and resources we are now in a position to handle medical evacuations on our own," Reuters quoted Mohamed, as saying.

The latest development has added to the simmering tension between India and President Abdulla Yameen's government in Maldives, which is said to have been receiving backing from China.

China has been developing airport, building roads and bridges in the Indian Ocean nation with an aim to upstage India's position of main provider of military and civil supplies. 

India, a close supporter of former Maldivian President Abdul Gayoom, has been opposing incumbent President Abdulla Yameen's crackdown on political rivals. Reports suggest that Yameen is being backed by Beijing.