India ready to train pilots to operate Dornier

India donated a Dornier military aircraft to the Maldives on September 29, 2020.

The Indian External Affairs Ministry on Saturday has said it was ready to provide training to Maldivian pilots to operate the Dornier aircraft, if a formal request is made by the Maldives government.

The statement was made at the External Affairs Ministry's weekly press conference, in response to a question on the Dornier aircraft gifted to the Maldives by the Indian government.

The office was asked if there were discussions about extending training to Maldivian pilots to operate the aircraft during Minister of Foreign Affairs Moosa Zameer's official state visit to India.

In response, the External Affairs Ministry's Spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal said the military ties between the Maldives and India were based fundamentally on capacity development, and as such, it was ready to comply with any requests made by the Maldives government seeking training.

"We have provided training previously as well. If we receive requests to train pilots, we will comply. We are ready to accept any such request," Jaiswal added.

India has repatriated all of its soldiers stationed in the Maldives to operate and maintain the Dornier aircraft and helicopters. The civilian replacements of all the 76 repatriated soldiers, will leave Maldives in 2026.

President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu, who ascended to presidency with the key pledge of deporting Indian soldiers from the Maldives, made the formal request from Indian government to withdraw its troops the following day after his presidential election win.