New Delhi [India], Feb. 27 (ANI): Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba on Tuesday said that Maldives has declined India's invitation to participate in the biennial naval exercise Milan, which starts from March 6 to 13.
Lanba further noted that Maldives has not given any reason for the decision on it.
"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 March 6 to13: Lanba said while addressing an event in Delhi.
Further talking about China's presence in the Indian Ocean, Lanba added "We are aware of the Chinese activities in Indian Ocean region. Their pattern of deployment has remained same since many years. At any time, there are 8-10 ships in the Indian Ocean".
Meanwhile, Chief of Defence Staff of Sri Lanka Armed Forces, Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne said, "Our political leadership lead by Sri Lanka President Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe clearly stated government won't enter into military alliance with any country for making our bases available to foreign countries".
According to media reports, the Indian military's Andaman and Nicobar Command will host biennial multinational naval event 'Milan-2018' at Port Blair from March 6-13 with the underlying theme of "friendship across the seas".
The event will see a mix of professional exercises and seminars, social events and sporting fixtures.
The inaugural address will be delivered by Lanba also the social interactions planned during Milan 2018 include display by Indian Army and navy bands, ship visits and colourful cultural evenings. (ANI)