India Was First Stop Planned For Special Envoy's Visit, Says Maldives

Reports had said India was not on the list of "friendly nations" that Maldives was sending its envoys to "provide updates on the current situation".

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India Was First Stop Planned For Special Envoy's Visit, Says Maldives

Maldives President Abdulla Yameen had declared an emergency this week.

New Delhi: 

Highlights

  1. Maldives announced envoys to "friendly countries" to brief them on crisis
  2. Envoys named for China, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia but not India
  3. This was due to scheduling conflict with Indian leaders: Maldives envoy
India was the first stop planned for a visit by a special envoy of the Maldivian president but it could not take place due to scheduling issues of the Indian leadership, the island nation's envoy said today.

The comment comes following reports that Maldives President Abdulla Yameen, who appears to have gained the upper hand in a bitter power struggle in the tiny island nation, on Wednesday decided to reach out to "friendly countries", announcing envoys to China, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia but not India.

"India was in fact the first stop planned and proposed for a visit of a special envoy of the president of Maldives. However, the dates proposed were not suitable for the Indian leadership," Maldivian envoy Ahmed Mohamed told news agency PTI.
 
maldives afp

Opposition supporters protest against the government's delay in releasing their jailed leaders, including former president Mohamed Nasheed, despite a Supreme Court order.

"We understand the External Affairs Minister is out of country and the Prime Minister is leaving for UAE during the week," he added. While Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj is currently visiting Saudi Arabia, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be setting out on a four-day, tour of UAE, Oman and Palestine tomorrow.

Mr Yameen has sent Minister of Economic Development Mohamed Saeed to China and Foreign Minister Mohamed Asim to Pakistan in the wake of the crisis. Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture Mohamed Shainee is going to Saudi Arabia.

Maldives plunged into crisis last week after Mr Yameen refused to comply with a five-judge verdict of the Supreme Court quashing terrorism convictions against nine leading opposition figures including the exiled former Maldivian president Mohamed Nasheed, who was the country's first democratically elected president.

India, which said it was monitoring the situation very "closely", added on Tuesday that it was "disturbed" about the declaration of emergency by the Maldivian government and described as a matter of "concern" the arrests of the chief justice and political figures there.

(With inputs from PTI)

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