The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) is participating in an exercise with Maldivian, Sri Lankan Coast Guards since November 26
The exercise titled ‘DOSTIXIV’ is India’s first defence engagement with Maldives since Ibrahim Mohamed Solih took over as President of the tiny tropical nation.
Sri Lanka is being represented by coast guard vessel SLCGS Raksha while coast guard ship Huravee is representing Maldives. India is being represented by advanced offshore patrol vessel ICGS Samar and fast patrol vessel ICGS Aryaman.
Indian Coast Guard chief Rajendra Singh called upon Maldives Defence Minister Uza. Maria Ahmed Didi in Male on November 26. He also interacted with Major General Ahmed Shiyam, Chief of Maldives National Defence Force.
The trilateral exercise saw the arrival of Maldives Defence Minister Uza. Maria Ahmed Didi aboard an Indian Coast Guard ship on November 27. The minister was received by ICG Director General Rajendra Singh.
It must be noted that the Sri Lanka vessel taking part – SLCGS Raksha and Maldivian Coast Guard Ship (MCGS) Huravee were both formerly Indian Coast Guard vessels. Huravee recently underwent a four-month long refit at the Naval Dockyard in Visakhapatnam and was handed over earlier this month.
This exercise will be watched closely by regional navies as Maldives under President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and Sri Lanka under Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, are slowly gravitating towards India despite the fact that Rajapakse had once granted the Chinese a foothold in Sri Lanka.