India hopes all countries play constructive role in Maldives turmoil

NEW DELHI: India on Friday hoped that all countries, including China, could play a constructive role amid the ongoing political turmoil in Maldives.

India hopes all countries play constructive role in Maldives turmoil

Maldivian opposition supporters argue with a police officer near the main opposition Maldives Democratic Party (MDP) headquarters during a protest in Male. Reuters

Smita Sharma 

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 9

India on Friday hoped that all countries, including China, could play a constructive role amid the ongoing political turmoil in Maldives.

The Ministry of External Affairs responding to queries on media reports about Maldives seeking support from China to maintain security for Chinese investments issued a statement late evening.

“We note that China has said that Maldives Government has the ability to protect the security of Chinese personnel and institutions in Maldives. We hope that all countries can play a constructive role in Maldives, instead of doing the opposite,” said India. 

This came amid arrest of two journalists, including an Indian citizen, reporting for news agency AFP in Maldives on grounds not clear.

Meanwhile, Maldives received backing from “friendly countries” where President Abdulla Yameen had dispatched off special envoys earlier.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in his meeting with the Maldivian special envoy reportedly assured him of Beijing’s backing in what is viewed as an “internal affair” and that “Yameen government is capable of handling it”. 

While Pakistan underlined that what is happening in the island nation is an internal matter and said it “supports the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Maldives as per the UN Charter”.

Meanwhile, Maldivian envoy Ahmed Mohamed speaking exclusively to The Tribune argued that countries contemplating restrictions or sanctions on Maldives would only aggravate people’s suffering.

Claiming that the situation is calm, the envoy said, “The government has recognised the need to have talks with opposition. There has not been a response from the opposition as yet. The government wants to end the impasse. In the best interest of Maldivians, Maldivians themselves need to make a decision.”

Asked about former President Mohamed Nasheed living in exile and seeking physical intervention by India, Mohamed argued the scenario now cannot be compared to what transpired in 1988. 

“In 1988 there was foreign invasion. Here this is an internal matter. There is no bloodshed going on in the country. There is no restriction on movement of people, no curfew, businesses are continuing as usual, children are going to school, transport links are working,” the ambassador said.

 

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