‘India Could Have Occupied Maldives If It Wanted; Radars, Choppers Only For Our Use’

Last updated on Jan 30, 2019

Posted on Jan 30, 2019

In her second interview to SNI Associate Editor Amitabh P Revi in two months, Maldives’ Defence Minister Mariya Didi talked about her first official visit to India after her appointment. The minister has just ended her week-long trip as a state guest along with the new Chief of Defence Forces, Major General Abdulla Shamaal. She held talks with her Indian counterpart Nirmala Sitharaman, met the Service Chiefs, top Defence Ministry and Coast Guard officials and visited key Naval and Army facilities.

The minister spoke to SNI on defence cooperation, the two Indian helicopters, a Dornier that has been gifted, radar installations and Coast Guard repair facilities in the Maldives. Mariya Didi also answered questions on fears of China’s plans in her country as well as the Indian Ocean region. She also elaborated on how India has always been there when the Maldives needed whether during an attempted coup, the tsunami or a water crisis. The minister talked about India being a traditional ally while China being an important economic partner.

Maldives’first woman Defence Minister, multiple-time MP, her party (MDP’s) first woman chairperson and the country’s first woman lawyer also talked about crucial domestic politics a two months after President Ibrahim Solih’s government was sworn in and a month after his first State visit abroad—to New Delhi. Mariya Didi answered questions on reports of problems within the coalition, the probe into former President Yameen’s administration and the Majlis elections in April.
#India #Maldives #diplomacy #politics #Yameen #Dornier

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