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Maldives welcomes India's role, Waheed to visit New Delhi

New Delhi/Male, April 3 - India Tuesday conveyed to the Maldives the need for pushing reconciliation in the archipelago nation even as Male announced that President Mohammed Waheed Hasan will be coming to New Delhi next month.

External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna Tuesday held talks in New Delhi with his Maldivian counterpart Abdul Samad Abdulla who updated Krishna on the evolving situation and the efforts of the new government to stabilise the country that depend heavily on tourism revenues.

As this was the first meeting between the two foreign ministers, Abdualla gave a detailed account of the chain of events that led to the transfer of power in the Maldives Feb 7, which some have decried as a coup.

He also updated India on the Commission of Enquiry appointed by the Maldives government to look into the circumstances surrounding the transfer of power, said official sources.

In his talks, Krishna stressed that India has an abiding interest in ensuring peace and stability in Maldives and had been happy to use its good offices to facilitate forward movement on the political impasse in Maldives, said the sources.

He stressed that while India is happy to assist in every possible way, it expects all parties, including those supporting the government, to contribute to our sincere efforts to bringing about peace and stability in Maldives.

Abdulla said that all parties in Maldives welcomed India's facilitation.

He also thanked India for release of $20 million of the US$ 100 million Standby Credit Facility to Maldives and rolling over the $50 million in Treasury Bonds with the State Bank of India by one year.

The Maldivian minister assured that India's commercial interests in the island nation was safe when Krishna raised the issue and underlined the the need to maintain an investor friendly climate to continue attracting quality investments. Abdulla 'assured that all existing agreements will be honoured'.

In Male, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Dhunya Maumoon announced that Waheed will travel to India next month. She, however, did not give the date for the visit.

The president will hold with the Indian leaders on improving bilateral ties, was all she would say.

The announcement came soon after the former president Mohamed Nasheed said he was planning to visit India mid-April.

In early March, India had helped broker a deal among Maldives' political parties which envisaged a broad consensus for early elections in a 'quick time frame' and a growing recognition of New Delhi's role as a facilitator in resolving the political crisis in the Indian Ocean island nation.


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