India will be hosting navies from at least 15 nations for the eight-day mega naval exercise, which is set to begin on March 6 at the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Maldives has been regularly participating in the biennial exercise, which was started in 1995.
The development was revealed by Indian Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba and comes amid strained ties between India and Maldives, which has been gripped by an ongoing political turmoil.
Countries participating in the exercise include Australia, Malaysia, Mauritius, Myanmar, New Zealand, Oman, Vietnam, Thailand, Tanzania, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Kenya, and Cambodia.
Here are the top 10 developments surrounding Maldives snub to India:
1) Maldives blames the emergency: Amid reports that it has snubbed India by rejecting the latter’s invitation to the MILAN 2018 naval exercise, the Maldives has said that its navy cannot participate in the event due to the state of emergency in the island nation. The Maldivian envoy said that under the current circumstances, it was “not extraordinary” for his country to not be able to participate in the naval drills.
Speaking to news agencies on the matter, Maldives Ambassador Ahmed Mohamed said: “I would like to clarify that the Maldives is unable to participate in the naval exercise during this time due to the current circumstances of a State of Emergency being in effect for those under investigation for serious crimes….
Mohamed added that during such a time, the island nation’s security personnel were “expected to be at a heightened stance of readiness”. Further, he said that the participation of Maldivian naval officers would have been as “observers” only.
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Source URL: Medium