New Delhi: Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba said on Tuesday informed that the Maldives has refused India’s invitation to attend 8-day multilateral naval exercise. He further added that the Maldives has not given any reason for this decision.
Lanba said that the mega event, ‘Milan’, is all set to take place from 6 March to 13 March at the Andaman & Nicobar Islands. He added that 16 countries will participate in the biennial naval drill. Ahead the aggressive nature of China along the Indo-Pacific region, Lanba said that the PLA remains unchangeable in their deployments.
Indian Navy spokesperson Captain DK Sharma said, “The interactions during Milan encompass sharing of views and ideas on maritime good order and enhancing regional cooperation for combating unlawful activities at sea.” He further added that this naval exercise will also provide an opportunity to the participating navies to build stronger ties to deal with various security challenges.
Meanwhile, India has recently expressed deep shock as Maldives decided to extend the state of emergency for another 30 days. In this regard, the MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said that the country wants to see a fully restored democracy in Maldives. It has also urged the government to release the Chief Justice and a Supreme Court judge and political prisoners.
However, Maldives has completely dismissed India’s concerns and said that New Delhi’s public statements were a “clear distortion of facts”.