Island nation the Maldives has declined India's invitation for eight-day mega naval exercise 'Milan' being organised at the Andaman and Nicobar Islands in the backdrop of China's growing military posturing in the Indo-Pacific region.
Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba said, "Maldives was sent an invitation to attend 'Milan', a multilateral Naval exercise hosted by Indian Navy but it declined the invitation. This exercise will take place from 6-13 March," reports ANI.
At least 16 countries have been invited to the biennial exercise by India for an eight-day mega naval exercise from March 6 with an aim to expand regional cooperation and combat unlawful activities in critical sea lanes.
Spokesperson of Indian Navy Capt D K Sharma had said, "The countries which are participating in the exercise include Australia, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritius, Myanmar, New Zealand, Oman, Vietnam, Thailand, Tanzania, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Kenya and Cambodia."
(With agency inputs)