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India to Help Train Maldivian Pilots If Requested: MEA

© AP Photo / Aijaz Rahi a Dornier aircraft
 a Dornier aircraft - Sputnik India, 1920, 18.05.2024
India pulled out its military personnel operating the maritime patrol aircraft and two helicopters in the Maldives on May 10.
With the Maldives recently admitting that it had no local pilots to fly the maritime Dornier aircraft and helicopters, India's Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said that New Delhi would be happy to help if the archipelagic state sought assistance from the world's largest democratic nation.
"Yes, capacity building is an important component in our defense and security engagement with the Maldives. We have in the past trained their personnel on the defence side and, if we receive a request for training of pilots, if this request is made, we will be happy to take it forward," MEA spokesman Randhir Jaiswal said in a press conference in New Delhi.
Jaiswal's comments came in the wake of Maldivian Defence Minister Ghassan Maumoon's statement made earlier this week, who stated that his country's defense forces lacked the capacity to fly the two helicopters and a Dornier aircraft gifted by New Delhi to Male.

"Some members of the Maldivian National Defence Force (MNDF) have started flying training but none were yet qualified to operate the aircraft provided by the Indian military," Maumoon stressed.

"Therefore, there aren't any people in our force at the moment who are licensed or fully operational to fly the two helicopters and Dornier aircraft,” the minister added.
The situation related to these military platforms came after Maldivian President Mohamed Muizzu, who came to power last November, altered his nation's India-First Policy, instead focusing on having warm relations with China.
After taking the oath, one of the first decisions he made was to ask India to withdraw its troops from the Maldives before setting a May 10 deadline.
Notably, over 75 Indian military personnel were engaged in providing humanitarian assistance and emergency aid under the command of the Maldivian Defense Forces.
India's External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar walks out after the meeting of the Nepal-India joint commission in Kathmandu on January 4, 2024. - Sputnik India, 1920, 09.05.2024
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