Indian Ocean posing serious concern: Maldives Prez | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Indian Ocean posing serious concern: Maldives Prez

Viewing Indian Ocean as India's "soft belly", Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed has said it is posing increasingly "serious" concern as highlighted by the Mumbai attacks and favoured a framework agreement with India to take care of security and other issues.

delhi Updated: Oct 07, 2010 13:45 IST

Viewing Indian Ocean as India's "soft belly", Mumbai attacks Mohamed Nasheed has said it is posing increasingly "serious" concern as highlighted by the Mumbai attacks and favoured a framework agreement with India to take care of security and other issues.

He sought to allay concerns here that Maldives could be used as a route to attack India although he acknowledged that some nationals of his country were getting terror training in Pakistan and some other countries.

"Terrorism issue is apolitical. We have to get a good grip on it," Nasheed said in an interview while talking about the menace which is a cause of concern for the region and beyond.

"Security issues in Indian Ocean have lately been getting more and more serious...I mean we see the Mumbai attack also as an Indian ocean issue," he said.

Noting that "India's soft belly is through Indian Ocean" and no government in Delhi would be comfortable with it being exposed, he said Maldives and India are undertaking coordinated patrolling of the maritime areas.

"We have an understanding with India in patrolling... it is happening," he said, adding India had also lent a helicopter for aerial surveillance of the Indian Ocean region.

Nasheed, who was here on a three-day visit during which he met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, however, favoured a framework agreement with India to take care of all issues encompassing relations between the two countries.

"Maldives and India have several agreements but it would be better if the two countries can have one comprehensive pact to deal with all security and other issues," the 43-year-old President said in the interview parts of which were issued earlier this week.