Closely monitoring events in Maldives: India

Closely monitoring events in Maldives: India

India today said it was closely monitoring the ''sudden turn of events'' in Maldives, where the President resigned following series of protests, but termed it as ''internal matter'' which as of now needs no outside assistance and noted that its community there was safe.

"We have noted the decision of President Mohamed Nasheed to resign in favour of Vice President Mohamed Waheed. This is an internal matter of the Maldives, to be resolved by Maldivians. We hope that all issues will be resolved in a peaceful and democratic manner," official spokesperson in the Ministry of External Affair said here.

India has traditionally enjoyed close ties of friendship and cooperation with the Maldives, he said, adding, "We remain committed to extending the fullest support and cooperation to the Maldivian government in its endeavour to promote peace and progress there and the prosperity and well being of its people.

"We continue to closely monitor the situation in the Maldives and understand that the Indian expatriate community there is safe." There are about 30,000 Indians there.

Nasheed announced his resignation after weeks of public protests over his order to arrest a senior judge, who had ordered release of a government critic, and handed over power to his Vice President Mohammed Waheed Hassan.

Hoping that there will be "greater scope for stability" for the national government, led by Waheed and comprising nominees of both government and opposition, official sources said, "We hope that the worst is over. It is positive that there has been an amicable solution to the turmoil going on in Maldives."

The official sources also differentiated the current situation from the developments of 1988 when Maldives had sought help from New Delhi in the face of "extraneous" powers trying to force a regime change.

"It is purely an internal political matter of Maldives. It is also new democracy. But there are some inherit mechanism in a multi-party system to deal with such situations," they said.

The officials also indicated that India was open to talks with any party and was in touch with various sections of the society through its mission there.

Noting that any crisis in any neighbouring country could have implications, sources said it was a positive that the political impasse was resolved to general satisfaction "and reports of a coup or violence are untrue, from what we understand."

All the parties in the government and opposition have discussed the matter in a very "politically conducive matter", they added.

Asked if former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, who was replaced by Nasheed after 30 years of rule, was behind the protests to force change, the sources said Gayoom's opposition Progressive Party of the Maldives has also played an important role to find a solution to the present crisis.

Observing that the protests had started by opposition on religious issues in December 2011 and some section of police was reluctant to carry government orders against the protesters "but it cannot be called a mutiny."

The sources also ruled out that there was any advisory against travelling to that country.