The Ministry of Defense has strongly rebuked the former Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom's statements regarding the Uthuru Thilafalhu (UTF) military harbor.
The ministry on Saturday evening, 12th March, claimed that foreign military vessels or personnel cannot enter Maldivian territory without proper permission from the country's government.
The ministry had rebuffed the former president's statements made during an opposition-led rally at Alif Dhaal atoll Mahibadhoo.
According to the Defense Ministry, Maldives will continue to have the full sovereign right to grant diplomatic clearance to foreign vessels; which they must acquire before entering the island nation.
In addition to this, the ministry had provided details about the coastguard harbor at the northern end of the country.
The ministry asserted that the harbor will be utilized by the Maldives military to improve the safety and security of the country's border.
Moreover, the ministry's official rebuttal had reiterated Minister of Defense Ms. Mariya Ahmed Didi's previous affirmation denying any presence of armed foreign military personnel in the Maldives.
However, Indian military personnel has been stationed at the parts of the island nation; specifically at the northern atoll of Haa Dhaal - though the state has continued to assert that the military personnel were not armed.
Meanwhile, the presence of Indian military personnel has been heavily criticized and contested by the Maldives opposition who had constantly called out to oust them from the country.