Maldives crisis: Indian government sends team

Male:  A high-level team of officials from Ministry of External Affairs arrived in Male today to "assist" Indian High Commission to resolve the situation arising out of former Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed taking refuge in the Indian Mission for the eight day in a row.

The team, which is headed by Harsh Vardhan Shringla, Joint Secretary in the MEA and includes officials of legal background, arrived in Male and will meet various "stakeholders" including Maldives Foreign Minister Abdul Samad Abdulla later today, official sources told PTI.

"They came in early morning and are holding series of meetings," a source said.

Mr Nasheed has been in the Indian Mission since February 13 to evade arrest after he failed to appear in court on charges of detaining Chief Criminal Judge Abdulla Mohamed while he was president, which his party considers politically motivated and designed to disqualify him from politics.

A Maldivian court issued a fresh arrest warrant against Mr Nasheed and directed the police to produce him before it at 4 pm today.

Immediately after the issuance of warrant, the Maldivian Foreign Ministry conveyed the court order against Mr Nasheed to the Indian High Commission.

An unnamed official of Mr Nasheed's MDP told Haveeru daily that former President Nasheed will not leave the Indian High Commission to appear before the court.

External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid had yesterday said in New Delhi that India would be the "happiest" if the situation is solved.

"There is unusual stress caused by local conditions. We just wish them the best... I would certainly endorse any method and any means by which the present situation can be resolved," he said.

The Minister added, "I think it is actually not a matter that gives any sense of satisfaction and if it gets resolved, we will be the happiest".

Story First Published: February 20, 2013 15:21 IST

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