Maldives government has seemingly refused the offer of a new aircraft by Indian government according to Times Of India.
While last week news had spread with many media quoting a senior government official who spoke under anonymity the advanced light helicopter; one out of the two gifted by the south-Asian giant to the island nation was being send off back to India in exchange of Dornier surveillance aircraft.
However the most recent update regarding the news has claimed the said exchange would not take place after all as the Maldives government is not seeking for a swap in military vessels gifted by India.
According to Times Of India the agreement between the two countries tied to the gifted helicopter would expire in April and Maldives has confirmed it would not seek renewal of the arrangement to keep the vessel in the country's sovereign area anymore. The article from the media outlet also added that the arrival of the said new aircraft and the prerequisite of building the hanger has stalled since the "letter of exchange" was not formally handed to Indian state government.
Meanwhile Maldives government has said it was sending the airborne vessels due to the exclusivity of Indian nationals operating the helicopters and the deployment of Indian military-affiliated assets in Maldivian soil.
On past several occasions the existence of these Indian personnel on Maldivian soil has been characterized as an element that may hold a national security threat in future, implying the island nation was ridding of any such case scenario at a time when political tension between the two SAARC countries have visibly deteriorated; largely due to the ideological and political differences associated with the 45-day long state of emergency that ran in Maldives from February.
India had on multiple occasions addressed their dissent on the state imposed emergency urging Maldives government to respect and comply with Supreme Court's order released on February 1 citing release of nine political prisoners.
China had entered the comments exchanged between Maldives and India in an indirect fashion, indicating their support for the Maldives government's political cause and warned the south-Asian giant to refrain from interfering in internal affairs of the island nation.