A team of three to sanitise the seas: The Hindu

India, Sri Lanka and the Maldives have joined hands to keep the seas in their sphere of influence free from unwanted visitors such as pirates, interlopers and drug runners, reports India’s Hindu newspaper.

“With Somali pirates getting closer, we have deep concern and are working closely with India and Sri Lanka in preventing any unwarranted incident. We have over 25,000 fishermen on the high seas on any given day. Our concern is for their protection as well. We have a surveillance programme to monitor fishing vessels but the point is we have to work in cooperation with the two Coast Guards so that they increasingly exchange information on the movement of suspicious vessels,” Ahmed Naseem told The Hindu at the end of his first visit to India as Maldives Foreign Minister.

“Somali pirates can be bold enough to come all the way to the Maldives. They sacked the Mahe port in Seychelles. They could do that here,” he had said adding Indian assistance was instrumental in the Maldives beefing up its surveillance and patrolling capability. The Maldives had seven radars bought and installed with Indian assistance and they were harmonised with the naval grid here. Recently, India-Maldives security partnership led to the capture of two rogue fishing vessels in the Maldives waters.

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