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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 110

India transfers naval patrol craft to Maldives

[b]India transfers naval patrol craft to Maldives[/b]

By M Rama Rao – Reporting from New Delhi

[b]New Delhi, 22 November, ([/b] India's naval chief Admiral Arun Prakash, on a four-day official visit to Maldives, today announced the transfer of Fast Attack Craft INS Tillanchang to the island nation in early 2006. During a meeting with the Minister of Defence and National Security, Ismail Shafeeu, he said the Idian offer come with technical, material and training assistance for a period of three years after the transfer.

This move is a part of India's efforts to reach out to the maritime nations in the Indian Ocean Region aimed at increasing joint and mutually advantageous co-operation in the region. The Indian Navy is already providing training and hydrographic assistance to Maldives. There are plans to set up a Hydrographic Survey Unit on the island.

Naval ships visit Maldives on a regular basis and they did so seven times this year. The Indian and Maldives Coast Guard have regular exercises under the 'Dosti' series.

It may be recalled that India had provided Maldives prompt relief after killer tsunami hit the region last year. India deployed two ships and four aircraft.

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