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Indian choppers to remain in Male

One of the helicopters that India gifted to the Maldives.  

The two Indian military helicopters, gifted to the Maldives, are likely to stay back along with a 48-member crew and support staff for at least the next few months as talks between the two countries on their continued deployment in the island nation were “positive”, diplomatic and military sources said on Sunday.

The lease agreement of the two helicopters, given to Maldives in 2013, has expired and the island nation had conveyed to New Delhi that it would not like to retain them.

After several rounds of talks, however, there has been indication from the Maldives on its willingness to keep the two helicopters along with the crew and support staff, sources said.

They said the preliminary outcome of talks between the two countries on the issue has been positive and there was a possibility of the choppers being stationed there for a longer duration. “The helicopters and the support staff are not being brought back,” a highly-placed source said.

Sources said the Maldives was extending visas of the Indian staff.

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Printable version | May 13, 2021 11:07:36 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/indian-choppers-to-remain-in-male/article24787732.ece

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