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Maldives: India steps up diplomatic efforts


Sumon K Chakrabarti, CNN-IBN
Feb 10, 2012 at 04:21pm IST

New Delhi: India on Friday stepped up its diplomatic efforts with Maldives for a resolution of the ongoing crisis there, with the Indian ambassador planning an all-party meet in the country. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh sent a senior MEA official to the country as a special envoy to assess the situation.

The south Asian country, that saw protests for the past two days, on Friday witnessed a brief lull in the violence ahead of the Friday prayers. Few people could be seen at the airport. Some tension was witnessed on the streets with former president Nasheed's supporters holding protest rallies.

Nasheed, who is now staying at his ancestral house, met cheering party supporters on Friday in Male and asked for his successor to step down and also called for early elections. "I am not calling for my re-instatement. I am calling for fresh elections. This government is unconstitutional and they cannot rule a country by force."

The charges against Nasheed remain unclear. Although an arrest warrant has been issued against him, the Police is yet to act on it.

Commenting on the Police, Nasheed said that it was of utmost importance that the police force was kept independent. "Police must be independent and professional, otherwise we won't get any development."

Meanwhile, a UN delegation is in Male on a 3-day visit and is hoping to work out a peaceful solution, something that the US has stressed upon.

India, meanwhile, is keeping a close watch and the Air Force is on standby for evacuation. The Indian envoy to the UN, Hardeep Puri, made it clear on Friday that India will not be interfering in the Maldives unnecessarily.

Nasheed said, "I am not disappointed with India. I can't understand the diplomatic pressures."

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