As defence ties grow, Maldives requests another vessel from India

WION New Delhi, Delhi, India Feb 07, 2020, 12.32 PM(IST) Written By: Sidhant Sibal

Maldives defence minister Mariya Didi speaks to WION Photograph:( WION )

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In an exclusive chat with WION, Maldives defence minister Mariya Didi lauded the role of New Delhi in evacuating its citizens from Wuhan

Maldives has requested India for another vessel, Maldives defence minister Mariya Didi told WION. In December, India had gifted a patrol vessel Kaamiyab to the Maldives National Defence Forces. Speaking to our diplomatic correspondent Sidhant Sibal, Mariya Didi, also lauded the role of New Delhi in evacuating its citizens from Wuhan in the aftermath of coronavirus outbreak in China.

WION: How was your visit to Def Expo in Lucknow and meet with Indian officials?

Mariya Didi: It went very well. The CDS Bipin Rawat whom I met recently when he was army chief, was friendly as well. He made the time to see me. We had a good talk. He was very forthcoming, very friendly, very frank.  We had a good discussion. We look forward for many more defence cooperation together.

WION: Any request from the Maldives? India gifted vessel Kaamiyab to your country in December...

Mariya Didi: We are very keen to have another vessel as well. We have a good positive signal from your government. The aftercare of these vessels are also concerns. 

WION: India evacuated seven of your citizens from Wuhan which is the epicentre of the coronavirus in China...

Mariya Didi: We would like to thank the government of India, as soon as we requested, you all brought our people, together with your people. They were also treated well. They all tested negative and very soon the quarantine period will be over and we hope they will be travelling to the Maldives soon. We did have a small child in the camp and I have been briefed that they are taken care off.

WION: How do you see Chinese presence in the region and its influence?

Mariya Didi: I don't think New Delhi has any reason to worry as far as the Chinese and us are concerned.