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"Our Government Has Not Permitted Chinese Vessel For Research In Maldivian Waters": Maldives FM

07:59 PM May 09, 2024 IST | NEWS Desk
 our government has not permitted chinese vessel for research in maldivian waters   maldives fm
"Our Government Has Not Permitted Chinese Vessel For Research In Maldivian Waters": Maldives FM

New Delhi [India]: Emphasising that "peace and security" of the Indian Ocean is important for countries in the neighbourhood including India, Maldivian Foreign Minister Moosa Zameer on Thursday said that his government has "not permitted the Chinese vessel" for research purposes in the Maldivian waters.

The statement by the Maldivian Foreign Minister came in the wake of the Chinese marine research vessel Xiang Yang Hong 3 returning to Maldivian waters, marking its second visit to the archipelago nation within two months.

"The peace and security of the Indian Ocean is important for both India and Maldives and Sri Lanka and the rest of the countries that we have in the neighbourhood. So, we will continue to work together as I said earlier," he said.

Elaborating on the port call for Chinese vessels, he said, "Our government issued personal rotation and friendly portable permits, and diplomatic clearances came from the Chinese side, which is very common in Maldives."

"So that's how it has happened we as a peaceful country, welcome those vessels which come for peaceful purposes. But they didn't come for research in the Maldivian waters, we have not permitted the Chinese vessel for research in the Maldivian waters," Maldivian Foreign Minister Moosa Zameer said while maintaining that research vessels are not welcome in the Maldivian waters.

On April 27, Chinese marine research vessel Xiang Yang Hong 3 returned to Maldivian waters, marking its second visit to the archipelago nation within two months after Pro-China Maldives President Mohamed Muizzu's ruling People's National Congress (PNC) won the Parliamentary elections, as reported by Adhadhu news on Friday.

It is pertinent to note that Defense Minister Ghassan Maumoon last month told the Maldivian Parliament that the Chinese vessel would not conduct any research despite sailing inside and near Maldivian waters."

There was no permission given to conduct any research in the Maldives territory. After docking in Male' and buying food, they did a crew change. People who came on an airplane went board the boat and those on the boat left via the airplane. That was the permission that was given," Adhadhu quoted Ghassan as saying on March 25.

Relations between India and the Maldives have strained since President Muizzu took office in November, shifting the government's focus towards China and requesting the withdrawal of nearly 80 Indian troops stationed in the Maldives, according to Reuters report.

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