- Envoy responds to concerns over rise in Beijing's influence with Male
- The response comes at a time when Male has plunged deep into crisis
- India had called Male's refusal to abide by top court "disturbing"
"If there is (a perception of) growing influence of China... then India should play that role, India should reach out to Maldives more often," Mr Mohamed told NDTV.
Asked if he was advocating a role as proactive as China, the Maldivian Ambassador said India should be more proactive.
"More than China... India should play better role in Maldives than any other countries because we are neighbours. And we have been friends," the diplomat said after his government sent special envoys to China, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.
Maldives, he said, had offered to send the foreign minister to India too but New Delhi wasn't receptive to the idea, a decision designed to remind President Abdulla Yameen that he hadn't taken any "real action" on the concerns flagged by India.
President Yameen, who refused to implement the court ruling that would have strengthened the opposition, also had the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court arrested. Among those arrested was former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, who had sided with the main opposition.
China had on Wednesday cautioned against such an intervention, warning that it could "complicate the current situation" and asked the international community to play what it called "a constructive role" on the basis of respecting Maldives sovereignty.
Maldives Ambassador Mohamed told NDTV that India was the first stop planned for a visit by special envoys of the Maldivian president amid the crisis back home in line with this policy.
"We made the request to India first. We follow the India First policy and we are very serious about India First policy and sensitive to it," he said.
Referring to New Delhi expressing concern at the crisis, Mr Mohamed said this is all the more reason why Maldives wanted to explain the situation to Indian government. Along with expressing concern, he said, India should also engage with Maldives and "know better what is the situation".
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