US official reaches Maldives

US Assistant Secretary of State for South Asian Affairs Robert Blake arrived in the Maldives Saturday to meet both ousted president Mohamed Nasheed and incumbent Mohamed Waheed Hassan.

State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Blake would seek "a clarification" on the ouster of Nasheed, XInhua reported.

Blake's visit comes in the wake of criticism by Nasheed of Washington's of the new Maldivian administration.

After Nasheed's criticism, the US said: "We will work with the government of the Maldives, but believe the circumstances surrounding the transfer of power need to be clarified."

The UN assistant secretary-general for political affairs Oscar Fernandez-Taranco arrived in Male Friday on a three-day visit for talks with political leaders.

Fernandez-Taranco, however, made it clear he was not here to dictate how the political upheaval should be resolved.

"There can be no externally-generated solution to something that can be solved by Maldivians themselves," he said.

Three weeks of opposition-led protests were capped by a police revolt that led to the dramatic resignation of Nasheed Feb 7.

A day later, violence quickly spread to other parts of the country after Nasheed took to the streets along with thousands of his supporters.

The crisis deepened Thursday with the Criminal Court ordering Nasheed's arrest. Nasheed's wife Laila Ali has fled to Sri Lanka.

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