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Nasheed meets Manmohan to discuss Maldives future

IANS
Apr 23, 2012 at 08:29pm IST

New Delhi: Former Maldivian president Mohamed Nasheed on Monday called on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the two leaders reportedly discussed the political situation in the atoll nation and its future, as Nasheed's party has been pushing for early polls following his ouster in February.

Nasheed, who is in New Delhi for the last five days trying to drum up support for his demand for establishing a popular government in Male, also called on India's National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon and Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai in this connection.

"The former president of Maldives had visited India and interacted with businesses, media, civil society and others in the country. During the visit, the former president paid a call on the (Indian) prime minister and met the national security adviser and the foreign secretary," India's ministry of external official official spokesperson said in response to questions from reporters on Monday.

Nasheed meets Manmohan to discuss Maldives future

Former Maldivian president Mohamed Nasheed's party has been pushing for early polls following his ouster in February.

Nasheed, during his interaction with Indian audiences in the national capital and in Mumbai over the last five days, has claimed that he had refused a chance to carry out a counter coup on the present Maldivian regime under his vice president Mohamed Waheed with help from some military officers of his country.

His party, Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), has been holding a political campaign, both within the nation and and outside for an early polls, claiming if there was no popular government, Islamist radicals could take over the country and this could pose a security threat to the region.

India's MEA official spokesperson, however, noted that the country has been holding wide-ranging engagement with all sections of the Maldives.

He said earlier this month, Maldives Foreign Minister Dr Abdul Samad Abdullah visited India at the invitation of External Affairs Minister SM Krishna and held discussions.

Maldives Defence Minister Mohamed Nazim too had visited India from March 27 to 30 to attend India-organised defence exposition in New Delhi. During that stay, Nazim called on his Indian counterpart, AK Antony, and had discussions on India-Maldives defence cooperation.

"India hopes that engagement with all the stake-holders in Maldives will facilitate a constructive dialogue among all the political parties and help in bringing stability to the country in line with the road map of Feb 16 drawn up by the Maldives President Mohamed Waheed."

Waheed had spelt out the Maldivian government's road map for peace, including plans to hold early polls, when Mathai was there to bring about truce among all stake-holders in the archipelago nation.

"India and Maldives enjoy very close and cordial relations. We have extensive cooperation in a number of areas, including trade, investments, connectivity, health, tourism, defence, security, human resource and infrastructure development," the Indian spokesperson said.

"India remains committed to further strengthening and expanding the multifaceted relationship with Maldives," he added.

The coast guards from the two countries would be carrying out annual joint exercise named 'Dosti-XI' later this month.

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