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Maldives snubs India, says won't join naval exercise

Maldives snubs India, says won't join naval exercise

"When situations warrant that officers be at their post, back at home, we have held back on deploying them to participate in exercises and training programs held overseas, and as such, not being able to participate in the naval exercise at this time is not extraordinary", he added.

The drill, held once every two years, is a chance for India to network and engage socially with other navies of the Indian Ocean.

The countries participating in the exercise are Australia, Malaysia, Mauritius, Myanmar, New Zealand, Oman, Vietnam, Thailand, Tanzania, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Kenya and Cambodia. He said that India has been closely monitoring the movement of Chinese vessels in the Indian Ocean Region. "Their pattern of deployment has remained the same for many years".

The Maldives' rejection of the Indian invite, without assigning an official reason, is easily the biggest snub by the Indian Ocean archipelago since the Yameen Abdul Gayoom government went into turmoil from February 1.

"The interactions during Milan encompass sharing of views and ideas on maritime good order and enhancing regional cooperation for combating unlawful activities at sea", spokesperson of the Indian Navy Capt D K Sharma has said.

Maldives Ambassador to India Ahmed Mohamed issued a statement that the country's is unable to participate due to the state of emergency in Maldives.




India has also urged Maldives government to release the Chief Justice and a Supreme Court judge and political prisoners.

The emergency has now been extended, which has not gone down well with India.

The Maldives has been facing a severe political crisis for the last few days after President Abdulla Yameen refused to reinstate the MPs of the opposition.

It said "the growing participation (of navies in Milan)...bears testimony to the success of this multilateral initiative".

New Delhi termed the decision to impose Emergency rule as "disturbing" and tried to persuade the atoll nation to restore democracy. "The manner in which the extension of the State of Emergency was approved by the Majlis in contravention of the Constitution of Maldives is also a matter of concern", India's Foreign Ministry had said in a statement.

While the crisis in Maldives was deepening, China asked India to respect Maldives sovereignty and not interfere in the country's affairs.


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