File photo. Photograph:( Others )
The Maldives has turned down an invite to a naval exercise hosted by India, Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba said in Delhi on Tuesday.
"Maldives was sent an invitation to attend 'Milan', a multilateral naval exercise hosted by Indian Navy but it declined the invitation," Lanba said.
The Maldives has been in turmoil ever since President Abdulla Yameen declared a state of emergency over the country. On the sidelines, India and China are sparring with each other to exercise greater authority over the island nation.
Government sources have since said -- anonymously -- that Indian forces are being kept ready in view of the Maldives situation. The sources however added that this was "standard operating procedure".
There were then a few days ago reports that Chinese ships had been seen in the region, but the reports were refuted by the Indian government.
"We are aware of the Chinese activities in Indian Ocean region. Their pattern of deployment has remained same since many years. At any time, there are 8-10 ships in the Indian Ocean," Lanba said on Tuesday.
We are aware of the Chinese activities in Indian Ocean region. Their pattern of deployment has remained same since many years. At any time, there are 8-10 ships in the Indian Ocean: Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba in Delhi pic.twitter.com/Y4y5rwhqoc— ANI (@ANI) February 27, 2018