India, Maldives Hold Joint Anti-Terror Exercise


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Jun 29, 2009
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India, Maldives Hold Joint Anti-Terror Exercise

Taking forward their defence cooperation, the armies of India and the Maldives are holding a joint counter-terrorism exercise at Belgaum.

The exercise, codenamed Ekuverin, began on October 19 and will conclude on November 1 when Maldivian Defence Minister Ameen Faisal and Indian Army's Southern Commander Lt Gen Pradeep Khanna would jointly witness the exercise.

Army sources said here said the fortnight-long exercise was aimed at achieving interoperability between the two countries for future joint counter-terrorism operations.

The Maldivian Army has deputed 44 of its personnel, including five officers, for the exercise and the Indian side 46 personnel.

The earlier joint exercise between the two countries' armies had taken place in May 2007.

The exercise comes close on the heels of India and Maldives signing a defence agreement, under which New Delhi took up the responsibility for security of the archipelago, when Defence Minister A K Antony had gone there on an official visit a couple of months ago.

India had in 1987 despatched its troops by air to Maldives to guard it against a coup attempt by a Sri Lankan Tamil militant group.

Recently, India had deployed warships in Maldivian waters, where Somali pirates were active, and has placed Naval aircraft there for patrolling its skies. | India, Maldives Hold Joint Anti-Terror Exercise

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