MEA man off to Maldives | delhi | Hindustan Times
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MEA man off to Maldives

India suggests option of early polls as political solution to end impasse. Jayanth Jacob reports.

delhi Updated: Feb 10, 2012 23:09 IST
Jayanth Jacob

India has sent a special envoy to Maldives as it has been building an international consensus on the developments in the Indian Ocean island cluster.

With the crisis deepening, New Delhi also pitches the option of early elections in Maldives as a political solution to the impasse arising out of the ouster of Mohamed Nasheed.

M Ganapathi, secretary (west) in the external affairs ministry arrived Male on Friday afternoon to assess the situation and hold a discussion with all the stake-holders.

“I have sent an envoy to Maldives to assess the situation,” Prime Minister Manmohan Singh told reporters on the sidelines of the India-EU summit here. Singh said it would be India’s effort to resolve the issue in a peaceful manner.

New Delhi has been engaged in hectic consultations with key countries to resolve the issue internally without any “external pressure.”

Foreign secretary Ranjan Mathai, who was in Washington, held talks with his interlocutors and also met his counterpart in London en route to India. Indian officials have also held discussions with the envoys of permanent members of the United Nations Security Council —US, UK, Russia, China and France—as well as the Sri Lankan high commissioner to India.

“There is a consensus among the countries, which we are in talks with, that the political parties in Maldives should sort the issues out. The special envoy of the United Nations, assistant secretary general Oscar Fernandez-Taranco, also said the same,” government sources told HT. The UN assistant secretary general reached Male early Friday and was to hold talks with new president Mohamed Waheed, who has also won crucial backing from US.

Sources stressed the early poll option. “Peace and stability is crucial for a country where tourism contributes to a major chunk of its economy. It should be restored (in Maldives),” sources said.