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India, Maldives & Sri Lanka’s ‘Dosti-16’ Held in Maldives

Highlighting the importance of “collaboration and interoperability” among the coast guards personnel of the Maldives, India, and Sri Lanka, Maldivian Defence Minister Mohamed Ghassan Maumoon said the trilateral exercise ‘Dosti‘ will unite the troika to address “shared maritime security concerns through collaboration.”

Participation and Objectives

Indian Coast Guard ships Samarth and Abhinav, along with Sri Lanka Naval Ship Samudura, are participating in the exercise ‘DOSTI-16‘, while Bangladesh is participating as an observer. Sri Lanka has described ‘Dosti’ as a trilateral exercise that aims to enhance cooperation, strengthen friendship, improve mutual operational capability, and develop interoperability among the Coast Guard personnel of India, the Maldives, and Sri Lanka.

Exercise Activities and Focus Areas

Scheduled from February 22nd to 25, the exercise provides participating forces with opportunities to engage in various maritime activities, including interdiction operations, search and rescue missions, surveillance, and communication drills. These activities aim to enhance their collective capability to respond to maritime security and safety challenges.

Importance for Regional Cooperation and Stability

Speaking at the event, Mr. Maumoon emphasised the importance of greater collaboration between the coast guards of Maldives, India, and Sri Lanka to address “shared maritime security concerns.” Exercise ‘Dosti’ focuses on regional cooperation in areas such as search and rescue, medical evacuations, countering piracy, pollution response, as well as humanitarian assistance and disaster relief efforts.

Participation and Support from Officials

Ministers of the Maldivian government, the Chief of Defence Force, Lieutenant General Abdul Raheem Abdul Latheef, Vice Chief of Defence Force, Brigadier General Ibrahim Hilmy, Additional Director General of Indian Coast Guard, ADG S Paramesh, and some foreign ambassadors took part in the inauguration ceremony.

Strengthening Bonds and Fostering Cooperation

Apart from the formal inauguration, the High Commissioner of India and the ADG Indian Coast Guard also welcomed the Maldivian Defence Minister and Foreign Minister onboard ICGS Samarth for the trilateral exercise DOSTI XVI, strengthening bonds and fostering cooperation among the maritime neighbours.

The ‘Dosti’ series of naval exercises began in 1992 with only Maldives and India. Sri Lanka joined the programme in 2012, and this year, in the 16th edition, the Bangladesh Coast Guard has also joined as an observer, further expanding the scope of this collaborative exercise.

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