India hopes for amicable solution to Maldives impasse

Ex-prez Nasheed remains holed up in Indian High Commission
Last Updated 14 February 2013, 19:14 IST

Even as former Maldives president Mohamed Nasheed continued to remain holed up in the Indian High Commission in Male, New Delhi on Thursday hoped that a solution “to the satisfaction of everybody” would be found.

 External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid spoke at length with his Maldivian counterpart Abdul Samad Abdullah over the phone. He described the conversation as a “good and very useful” talk, but added that “it was still an ongoing process.”

 Nasheed, who stepped down as the president of the archipelagic nation a year ago, sought refuge at the Indian High Commission after a court issued an arrest warrant against him on Wednesday. Though India is yet to convey its decision on Nasheed’s request for refuge officially, the former president is expected to stay there for some more days.

 Speaking to reporters, Khurshid described the situation as “unusual.”

“I spoke to him (Maldives foreign minister) for almost 40  minutes. We went through everything,” he said. Asked about the Maldivian government’s reaction on foreign interference in their domestic issues, Khurshid said: “Unfortunately, unauthenticated and inaccurate reports go out on how both sides are approaching a situation, which is obviously a situation of an unusual nature.

 “As far as Maldives is concerned, they are valuable friends of India. And I do not think that any inaccurate report about how we deal with each other’s issues should be allowed to come in the way of this friendship. As and when we move forward on this, I will give you more information.”

 The minister said the two leaders discussed the present situation.

“We are working on the background. I hope that we can come to a resolution of the present situation which is to the satisfaction of everybody.”

 Asked about the duration of Nasheed’s stay at the High Commission,  Khurshid, evading a direct reply, said: “I have just said as and when the situation requires me to tell you and give you more information, I will.”

(Published 14 February 2013, 16:50 IST)

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