India Committed to Combat Piracy, Terrorism in Indian Ocean: Prime Minister Modi

Foreign Affairs

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi March 19 reaffirmed India’s commitment to safeguarding freedom of navigation and combating piracy and terrorism in the Indian Ocean region. His remarks came in response to a message from Bulgarian President Rumen Radev, expressing gratitude for the safe return of seven Bulgarian nationals.


On March 18, the Bulgarian President expressed his gratitude to the Indian Navy for successfully carrying out a rescue operation on the hijacked Bulgarian ship, MV Ruen. Prime Minister Modi expressed appreciation for the President of Bulgaria Radev, and conveyed India’s satisfaction that the seven Bulgarian nationals were safe and would soon be returning home.

“Appreciate your message President @PresidentOfBg. We are happy that 7 Bulgarian nationals are safe and will be returning home soon. India is committed to protecting freedom of navigation and combating piracy and terrorism in the Indian Ocean region,” said PM Modi in a post on X.


The “Ruen” ship with eight Bulgarians, nine Myanmarese and one Angolan citizen on board was captured by pirates in the Arabian Sea in December last year.

In an official post on X, the Bulgarian President said, “My sincere gratitude to PM @narendramodi for the brave action of Navy rescuing the hijacked Bulgarian ship “Ruen” and its crew, including 7 Bulgarian citizens.”

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Meanwhile, Bulgaria’s foreign minister Mariya Gabriel in a Facebook post said  that she held a conversation with the Indian Ambassador to Bulgaria Sanjay Rana for the Indian Navy’s Operation on MV Ruen and thanked him for rescuing Bulgarian nationals.

In a recent post on Facebook Bulgaria’s foreign minister Mariya Gabriel said, “Today, March 16, with the help of the Indian Navy, the crew of the ship “Rouen” hijacked on December 14, 2023, including seven Bulgarian citizens, was released.”


“Thanks to the efforts of the Indian military, the entire crew of the ship was freed. All sailors are in good health and efforts are currently being made for their timely return to Bulgaria,” she added.

Speaking regarding the incident, she stated that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in close cooperation with all competent institutions, the overseas representations of the Republic of Bulgaria in the region and international partners is actively involved in the efforts to release the Bulgarian crew. On March 16, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a conversation was also held with the Indian ambassador in Sofia, Ambassador Sanjay Rana and an additional request was made to the Indian side for assistance and to take all possible actions to protect the life and health of the crew.

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She added in her statement, “I am extremely grateful for the assistance of the Indian side in the process of releasing the Bulgarian sailors.”