New Delhi, 27 February 2018

Attention has been drawn of the Embassy to media reports stating that the Maldives has declined India’s invitation to participate in the biennial naval exercise Milan.

The Embassy 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. During such a time especially, security personnel are expected to be at a heightened stance of readiness.

Also the participation of Maldives Naval Officers would have been as observers only.

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.

The Maldives and India enjoy a long history of excellent defence and military cooperation and it is a tradition that we are confident that will endure and continue indefinitely.

END