India on Thursday sought to resolve the unusual situation arising from former Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed taking refuge in the Indian High Commission in Male, with external affairs minister Salman Khurshid having a "good, very useful and long" conversation with his Maldivian counterpart.
After talking for 40 minutes on phone with Abdul Samad Abdullah, Khurshid voiced the hope that a solution "to the satisfaction of everybody" would be found. But it was still an on-going process, he said.
Indian High Commissioner in Maldives, DM Mulay, also met senior officials in Maldives to discuss the situation.
Khurshid said: "As far as Maldives is concerned, they are valuable friends of India. And I do not think that any inaccurate reports about how we deal with each other's issues should be allowed to come in the way of this friendship".
He was referring to Maldives' rejection of India's claim that Indian officials had held discussions with the Maldivian government on Nasheed. "Maldives wishes to confirm that neither the High Commission of India in Male nor any other authority of the government of India has had discussion with the government of Maldives concerning former President of Maldives Mohamed Nasheed's reported request for 'refuge'," Maldives' foreign ministry said.
It said that after several inquiries by the ministry, the Indian High Commission had confirmed Nasheed's presence there. "It is further unfortunate that the government of India has decided to comment on the types of candidates that could contest the upcoming presidential elections in the Maldives scheduled for September," it said.
Meanwhile, Nasheed's party said he will stay in the Indian mission in Male until a caretaker government is formed, even after assurance that he would not be arrested if left the mission.
"Nasheed's arrest warrant has ceased and he will not be arrested," Imad Masood, spokesman for President Mohamed Waheed Hussain Manik, said. New Delhi hasn't made any statement even after Khurshid spoke to his counterpart.
(With agency inputs)