File photo: Maldives President Abdulla Yameen. Photograph:( AFP )
Maldives Ambassador Ahmed Mohamed has clarified that the Maldives is not participating in the naval exercise Milan because of the ongoing state of emergency in the country. The official statement also noted that the state of emergency requires forces to be in a state of heightened readiness.
"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. During such a time especially, security personnel are expected to be at a heightened stance of readiness," noted the statement.
Mohamed also noted that when situations back at home require officers to be there, they are held from being deployed overseas.
"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," read the statement.
The Maldives turned down an invite to a naval exercise hosted by India earlier today.
"The Maldives was sent an invitation to attend 'Milan', a multilateral naval exercise hosted by Indian Navy but it declined the invitation," Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba said in Delhi on Tuesday.