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Epaper Saturday, December 04, 2021


Maldives, India agreement on developing Uthuru Fila Falhu (UTF) base has no clause of concern: Panel

November 23, 2021 09:43 AM

Male, The Parliament Committee on National Security of the Maldives, also known as the 241 Committee, has stated that agreements between the Maldives National Defense Force (MNDF) and the Indian military do not contain any clauses that cause concern.

Maduvvary MP and former Defense Minister Adam Shareef Umar requested the Parliament to review three agreements between MNDF and the Indian military to develop a dockyard in Uthuru Fila Falhu (UTF) base, an agreement to operate a Dornier aircraft with Indian assistance, and a hydrography agreement.

During the committee meeting held to decide on the matter, MP Ahmed Usham proposed obtaining copies of the agreements before coming to a conclusion.

Usham said although the committee report on the subject had been shared on the WhatsApp group for committee members, the file is not accessible, and the issue had been reported to the committee's chair. He was able to access the complete document on Sunday, and he is of the opinion that it is imperative to review the original agreements, Usham said.

Usham further pointed out that the committee did not know the full content of the Maldives-India agreements and said there should be no agreements that are kept confidential from the committee, reported.

MP Ali Hussain supported Usham's proposition. However, it did not get enough votes to be approved.

The committee later concluded the matter by stating that the agreements did not contain any information that could cause an issue and approved the committee report.

In February this year, an agreement was signed between India and Maldives for New Delhi to assist in the development of a coastguard harbor and dockyard at the Uthuru Thila Falhu (UTF) naval base. The agreement was signed on behalf of the Government of India by the Minister of External Affairs S. Jaishankar whilst the Maldivian Government was represented by the Minister of Defense, Mariya Ahmed Didi.

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