Dhaka/Male: External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid on Sunday spoke to his Maldivian counterpart for the second time in four days to defuse the crisis over former Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed who remained holed up at the Indian High Commission in Male for the fifth day. Khurshid, who is on an official two-day visit to Bangladesh, called up Maldives Foreign Minister Abdul Samad Abdullah from Dhaka, official sources said in Dhaka.
The details of the conversation were not immediately available. On Thursday, Khurshid had called up Abdullah and spoke to him for nearly 40 minutes afer which he said the situation involving Nasheed was of an "unusual nature.
The conversation took place even as Maldivian President Mohamed Waheed said he was "dismayed" that his predecessor sought refuge in the Indian High Commission when he was summoned to the court. He accused Nasheed of "instigating" street protests by taking refuge as he promised "free, fair and inclusive" multi-party election in the country in September.
Waheed said his government will do the utmost to promote democracy in the country. "I believe that it is in the national interest of Maldives to hold a free, fair and inclusive election this year in which all political parties are allowed to participate, including smaller political parties," Waheed said in a statement in Male.
Fort five-year-old Nasheed, leader of Maldivian Democratic Party, took refuge in the Indian mission on February 13 to evade arrest warrant issued by a court in a case concerning the detention of Chief Judge of the Criminal Court during his Presidency in January last year. "I am dismayed that the former President Nasheed sought refuge in the Indian High Commission in Male when he was summoned to the court. The court order which required the Police to arrest Nasheed and have him appear before the court was due to his refusal to attend court hearing.
"It had expired at 1600 hours on the 13 February 2013, and there is no reason for him to remain in the High Commission and to instigate street violence," Waheed said. The President said the court's decision has nothing to do with his government.