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PM Modi’s Reply after Bulgarian President praises ‘brave’ Indian Navy for ‘MV Ruen’ rescue mission.

Narendra Modi stated that India is dedicated to maintaining freedom of navigation while tackling piracy and terrorism in the Indian Ocean.

PM Modi's Reply after Bulgarian President

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Tuesday that India is dedicated to defending freedom of navigation and tackling piracy and terrorism in the Indian Ocean region, after Bulgarian President Rumen Radev congratulated him for the Indian Navy’s rescue of his country’s ship and crew.

Rumen Radev wrote on X (formerly Twitter): “My sincere gratitude to PM Narendra Modi for the brave action of the India Navy in rescuing the hijacked Bulgarian ship ‘Ruen’ and its crew, including seven Bulgarian citizens.”

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Modi replied that he liked the message.

“We are relieved that seven Bulgarian nationals are safe and will be coming home shortly. “India is committed to protecting freedom of navigation and combating piracy and terrorism in the Indian Ocean region,” Modi stated.

Earlier on Sunday, Bulgaria’s deputy prime minister hailed India, Modi, and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar for successfully retrieving the hijacked MV Ruen.

“I thank the navy for a successful operation to free the hijacked vessel Ruen and its crew members, including seven Bulgarian nationals. Thank you for your support and hard work. “We continue to work together to protect the crew’s lives,” Bulgarian Minister Mariya Gabriel wrote on X. “That’s what friends are for,” Jaishankar responded.

On Saturday, the Indian Navy forced 35 pirates to surrender and successfully recovered the MV Ruen, which Somali pirates had seized on December 14, last year. The seizure of the Bulgarian-owned MV Ruen was the first time Somali pirates boarded a commercial vessel since 2017. On Saturday, all crew members were safely retrieved, with no injuries.

The Indian Navy claimed that INS Kolkata led the operation. The Navy used its P-8I maritime patrol aircraft, together with frontline ships INS Kolkata and INS Subhadra, as well as a high-altitude long-endurance (HALE) unmanned aerial vehicle. On Saturday, the Indian Air Force’s C-17 aircraft dropped two boats alongside Indian Navy MARCOS in the Arabian Sea to support the ongoing anti-piracy effort ‘Operation Sankalp’.

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During the 40-hour rescue mission, INS Kolkata intercepted the pirate ship MV Ruen, which was under attack over 2600 kilometres from the Indian coast. Through smart maneuvers, INS Kolkata forced the pirate ship to halt its voyage.

“On March 16, INS Kolkata, a mission deployed in the Arabian Sea, intercepted the pirate ship MV Ruen, thwarting Somali pirates’ plans to capture ships sailing through the region. The commerce vessel was hijacked in December 2023 and has since been under the custody of Somali pirates, according to an Indian Navy statement.

Since December, when Somali pirates hijacked the MV Ruen 380 nautical miles east of Yemen’s Socotra island, the Indian navy has been watching it. At that time, the pirates handed over one injured Bulgarian sailor to the Indian Navy.

They then transported the MV Ruen and its 17 crew members to Somalia’s semi-autonomous province of Puntland, where the Indian navy claimed it was anchored near Bosaso.

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