Abdulla Yameen, President of the troubled state of Maldives, approached three ‘friendly countries’ — China, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia — and announced envoys will be sent to these nations.
An official announcement from Yameen’s office said the envoys will visit the friendly nations and provide updates on the current situation, reports NDTV.
This development came soon after China warned against military intervention in the Maldives, saying that it would complicate the situation further. The warning was against India after former President Mohamed Nasheed appealed to New Delhi to send envoys, and the government had the military on standby, in case of emergency or requirement.
The Indian government had not, however, indicated an intervention in any way. On the contrary, it had been reported the government was not keen on sending envoys to the island.
Bilateral relations between Maldives and India have been friendly over the years. It was only in the past 4 years that there has been some strain. Under former President Mohamed Nasheed, the India-Maldives relationship had grown, and Nasheed has been considered a friend of India’s. When Nasheed was made to step down due to a series of political events in the country, he got refuge at the Indian High Commission.
President Yameen has credited the Indian government for various aids and interventions in the islands. India has a naval presence in the Maldives since 2009, on the island state’s request.
The ties turned sour when President Yameen ordered the removal of the Chief Justice, police chiefs and Vice President, to boost his administration. India, along with many other countries, condemned this act, calling it undemocratic. Prime Minister Narendra Modi cancelled his tour to Maldives in 2015 due to these events.
President Yameen had paid a two-day visit to India in 2016, and many counter-terrorism pacts had been discussed by the two leaders.
Another reason for the strained ties between the two countries is attributed to Maldives’ closeness to China. India has always been wary of the two countries’ relation. Both China and India have development and infrastructure projects in Maldives, but experts have said that China might be getting special treatment and India could be getting ignored.moneycontrol