Nasheed now 'much more satisfied' with India's approach

Nasheed now 'much more satisfied' with India's approach

Days after he expressed disappointment with India's stand on the Maldives' political crisis, ousted President Mohammed Nasheed has now said that he is "much more satisfied" with the approach of New Delhi, whose top diplomat held wide-ranging talks with all key stakeholders here.

"It was very promising," 44-year-old Nasheed said last night following his meeting with Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai for nearly an hour at the Indian High Commission here.
Shortly after his arrival last night, Mathai had met new President Mohammed Waheed Hassan at his residence. That meeting too lasted for nearly 60 minutes.

Nasheed, who had earlier expressed disappointment with India's approach, said he was "much more satisfied" now.

"I now fully understand how things may be brought into a proper alignment and I am much more satisfied," he told PTI when asked if he had conveyed his unhappiness to Mathai.

Asked if he was satisfied with India, Nasheed said, "I am more than satisfied with India and I believe that Indians have (in mind) the best interest of Maldivian people."

Last week, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had dispatched his special envoy M Ganapathi here.

Ganapathi, Secretary (West) in the Ministry of External Affairs, had held talks with both Hassan and Nasheed and sought a peaceful solution to the complex situation here.

Since Nasheed stepped down as President in what he claimed was a coup d'etat, there have been a slew of diplomatic visits here from various countries, including the US.

Maldivian leaders were now increasingly looking up to New Delhi to help find a solution to the crisis that has gripped this archipelago nation since last week.

"We will welcome any helpful role that they can play in this," Leader of Opposition in the People's Majlis or Parliament, Ahmed Thasmeen Ali, told PTI after his meeting with Mathai.

He was replying to a question as to whether he expected India to help find a solution to the crisis here.

Abdullah Yamin, half-brother of former ruler Maumoon Abdul Gayoom and an MP from the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM), also held talks with Mathai.

Asked how the meeting with Mathai went, he said, "We are trying to find a settlement to all of these things. We know India is very keen, very sincere friend and India was on the ground.

"They know the story very well and I have complete trust that they have Maldives at their heart and I think Indians will take very seriously the events that happened here on the 7th."

He said he had absolute confidence in Indian authorities, who had in mind the well-being of the Maldivians.

Mathai, whose meetings went on past midnight last night, was accompanied by Harsvardhan Shringla, Joint Secretary, in- charge of Maldives in the External Affairs Ministry.