Mathai in Maldives; Nasheed satisfied with India
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Last Updated: Thursday, February 16, 2012, 00:15
Male: Ousted Maldivian president Mohammed Nasheed on Wednesday said he is "much more satisfied" now with India's approach to the political crisis in this country, as New Delhi stepped up efforts to help ease the situation by sending its Foreign Secretary here.

"It was very promising," Nasheed said emerging from the Indian High Commission here about his meeting with Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai for nearly an hour.

Shortly after his arrival, Mathai had also met President Mohammed Waheed Hassan in the evening at his residence. This meeting too lasted for nearly an hour.

Nasheed, who had earlier expressed his disappointment with India over the stand taken by it on the political crisis, said he is "much more satisfied".

"I now fully understand how things may be brought into a proper alignment and I am much more satisfied," he said when asked if he had expressed his unhappiness to Mathai.

Replying to a query if he was satisfied with India, Nasheed said, "I am more than satisfied with India and I believe that Indians have the best interest of Maldivian people."

Mathai, who flew in by a special aircraft is set to meet more stakeholders tomorrow.

Last week, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had dispatched his special envoy M Ganapathi here.

Ganapathi, Secretary (West) in the Ministry of External Affairs, had held talks with both Hassan and Nasheed and sought a peaceful solution to the complex situation here.

Since Nasheed stepped down as President in what he claimed was a coup d'etat, there have been a slew of diplomatic visits here from various countries, including the US.

Nasheed and his supporters have openly expressed their disappointment with the Indian government for its stand over the turn of events here. Nasheed was unhappy over New Delhi reaching out to the new leadership.

Dejected by the cold shoulder given by India, Nasheed had said that New Delhi had taken his party "for granted" and may lose "leverage" to China under the new regime.

Diplomatic sources, however, said India continued to be good friends with both Nasheed and the new regime.

"Our policy is not party-centric or people-centric. We continue to remain friends with both. We have been engaging with both sides," a source said.

The sources pointed out that India had facilitated the former regime and will continue to facilitate the government in the country.

"Relations are taken forward with the government and the people. India remains a strong supporter of Maldivian people," they said.

Amidst stepped up efforts by India and other key members of the international community to help ease the crisis here, Mathai had arrived in the evening for talks with the Maldivian leaders.

Mathai was accompanied by Harsvardhan Shringla, Joint Secretary (Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Maldives) in the External Affairs Ministry.


First Published: Wednesday, February 15, 2012, 22:37

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