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A file photo of former president of Maldives Mohamed Nasheed. Photo: AFP  (AFP )
A file photo of former president of Maldives Mohamed Nasheed. Photo: AFP
(AFP )

India sends team to Male

The officials met Maldives foreign minister and discussed various aspects of the issue

New Delhi: India has sent a team headed by an official of the ministry of external affairs (MEA) to resolve a standoff between Maldives’ current president Mohamed Waheed Hassan and his predecessor Mohamed Nasheed after the latter sought refuge in the Indian high commission in Male about a week ago.

The Indian team is headed by Harsh Vardhan Shringla, joint secretary in the MEA and includes officials of legal background, a person familiar with the developments in New Delhi said.

The officials met Maldives foreign minister Abdul Samad Abdulla and discussed various aspects of the issue, a PTI report from Male said.

Nasheed reportedly fears his arrest and incarceration in prison and has refused to step out of the Indian high commission. He is reportedly awaiting an assurance from Waheed’s government that he will be permitted to contest the 7 September elections in the Maldives—something Waheed’s government has not given so far.

“The team will try to meet representatives of different political parties and tell them not to do anything precipitate," said the person cited above.

Maldives has been in the throes of a political crisis since February last year when Nasheed resigned as president paving the way for then vice president Waheed to take over as president. Nasheed later said he had been ousted in a coup—a claim dismissed by an international enquiry.

The current crisis was precipitated after a court ordered Nasheed’s arrest for allegedly ignoring a summons last week. Nasheed is on trial for alleged misuse of power.

India recognised Waheed’s government soon after he took office but ties soured after the Maldives government in November cancelled the $511 million contract given to GMR Infrastructure Ltd and a Malaysian company for building and operating the international airport in Male.

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