No foreign warships in Maldivian waters, assures defence ministry

A frigate of the Indian Navy.

A frigate of the Indian Navy.

Following foreign reports of Chinese frigates in the Indian Ocean, the Maldives’ defence ministry on Tuesday assured that there were no foreign warships in Maldivian territories.

According to foreign media, warships of the Chinese Navy have been active in the Indian Ocean since last week amidst tensions between the two Asian powers. Indian media have also reported that its navy, which safeguards the waters that include Maldivian territory, are undergoing training sessions in the Arabian Sea. The reports had linked the sightings of the frigates with the ongoing state of emergency in the Maldives.

However, the defence ministry countered the allegations in a statement Tuesday, assuring that Maldivian security forces are patrolling and guarding the nation’s economic and political zones. The ministry reassured that there were no military vessels of any outside forces inside Maldivian waters.

The statement also called on media to refrain from presenting reports in a light that could comprise the national security of the Maldives or encourage foreign parties to influence the Maldives amidst the current politically charged atmosphere of the island nation.

Australia’s “News” website had alleged that the Chinese navy were patrolling the Indian Ocean to obstruct India from influencing the political climate of the Maldives, and to protect China’s interests.

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