Maldives, India, Sri Lanka forces in joint military exercises; Maldives' defence minister in India

Joint military exercises between the Maldives, India, and Sri Lanka, called 'Dosti' or friendship, symbolises the age-old friendship between the three countries, Maldivian Defence Minister Mariya Ahmed Didi has said

Nov 23, 2021
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Maldives, India, Sri Lanka forces in joint military exercises (ANI)

Joint military exercises between the Maldives, India, and Sri Lanka, called 'Dosti' or friendship, symbolises the age-old friendship between the three countries, Maldivian Defence Minister Mariya Ahmed Didi has said. Mariya made the statement at a ceremony held to inaugurate the 15th edition of the biennial exercise.  The India-Maldives-Sri Lanka Tri-Lateral Exercise ‘DOSTI’ aims to further fortify the friendship, enhance the mutual operational capability, and exercise interoperability and build cooperation between the Coast Guards of Maldives, India, and Sri Lanka.

Exercise 'Dosti' was initiated in 1991, and the Maldives and Indian Coast Guard have collaborated on conducting the exercise since then. Sri Lanka joined the exercise for the first time in 2012.

While this year marks the 30th year since the conception of the exercise, Minister Mariya said the exercise being carried out over the years without fail attests to the importance the three countries give to ensuring the safety of the surrounding seas.

She said that reinforcing regional efforts to ensure the safety of the Indian Ocean and regional security is among the top policies of President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, UNI news agency said quoting Maldives' digital platform avas.mv.

Exercises carried out over the past 10 years focused on exercises and drills on assisting in sea accidents, the responsibility on the Coast Guard on eliminating sea pollution, and the Coast Guard's procedure and conduct during situations such as oil spills.

The exercise, which commenced on November 20, will continue till November 24. This year marks 30 years since the initiation of the exercise.

Meanwhile, Maldives Defence Minister Mariya Ahmed Didi is on a six-day visit to India. In a sign of the growing defence and security cooperation being envisaged between the two countries, she will be the first foreign defence minister to review the passing out parade at the Indian Naval Academy in Kannur, Kerala.

During the visit, Mariya Didi will visit training facilities and interact with Maldives National Defence Force personnel undergoing training in India.

The visit comes two days after new Indian Ambassador Munu Mahawar called on the Maldives Defence Minister in Male and discussed progress in the ongoing bilateral ties.

“Discussed progress in ongoing Maldives-India Defence Cooperation initiatives. “The #India-#Maldives defence partnership is time-tested and key to regional security and the well-being of our peoples,” said the Indian High Commissioner in a tweet on November 21.

The Maldives Defence Minister said in reply said:
“We have made significant progress in our defence cooperation partnership within the last 3years & we look forward to doing more to achieve our common goal of peace and stability in IOR (Indian Ocean Region).” (SAM)