India wishes to see a Maldives with peace and stability established in which the aspiration of the people are fulfilled, declared the South Asian giant’s external affairs ministry.
According to Indian media, the ministry’s spokesperson Gopal Baglay made the remark upon being asked regarding the current political situation in the Maldives.
As he guaranteed India’s unrelenting support for the development and democracy in the Maldives, Baglay said, “Maldives is very important neighbour of ours. It is part of SAARC… We attach the highest importance to our relations with Maldives… India wishes to see a stable, prosperous and peaceful Maldives in which aspirations of people of Maldives are fulfilled.”
Baglay also countered the remarks of Nawaz Sharif, who was ousted as the Prime Minister of Pakistan on Friday soon after he returned from an official visit to the Maldives. During a press conference with President Abdulla Yameen during his visit, Nawaz Sharif had accused India of undermining the spirit of the SAARC as he held them responsible for the cancellation of the 19th SAARC Summit that was to be hosted in Pakistani capital Islamabad last November.
In response, Baglay stated that all member states of SAARC are aware of why the summit had to be called off.
“The threat of cross-border terrorism unfortunately continues to claim innocent lives. It continues to adversely impact on peace and security as well as development and cooperation in the region,” he said.
India had boycotted the SAARC Summit in Islamabad last year amidst high tensions between India and Pakistan over the conflict in Kashmir, claiming that Pakistan had failed to provide a safe environment for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to cross borders to attend the summit amidst cross-border fighting. India was soon followed by Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Bhutan.
The Maldives at the time had refused to take sides and instead urged fellow South Asian nations to create an environment conducive for holding the regional sit-down.
Diplomatic relations between the Maldives and India have grown tenuous since the fall of former President Mohamed Nasheed from power. The Maldives is notably the only nation in the region the current Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is yet to visit. He had cancelled his visit scheduled in 2015 following the arrest of former President Nasheed. However, India has not issued any official statements over calling off the trip.