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HindustanTimes Sat,20 Sep 2014

World

China wants India to resolve Maldives crisis
Shishir Gupta, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, February 22, 2012
First Published: 08:37 IST(22/2/2012)
Last Updated: 08:39 IST(22/2/2012)

China has quietly conveyed to India that it has no intentions of fishing in troubled waters of Maldives and was ready to help New Delhi, if so desired, to settle the political crisis in the tiny island nation.

Top government sources said after inspired reports that Chinese were behind the overthrow of liberal Mohammed Nasheed regime, Beijing used diplomatic channels to assure at the highest levels that it has no political interest in Male and wanted New Delhi to take the lead in sorting out the current political crisis.

While China offered help in case India wanted it in settling Male, it made it clear to New Delhi that it would be concerned if US, UK and other western powers moved in to resolve the crisis.

Both India and China are wary of British moves in the region and do not want London to treat Maldives as an extension of its territory Diego Garcia. With population perhaps less than Karol Bagh, Maldives sits on the shipping lanes carrying half the global trade to Asia.

However, UPA government is confident of helping Maldives resolve the political crisis. It knows that the local people on streets are with Mohammed Nasheed but the state power and institutions including army are with Abdul Qayoom backed Mohammed Waheed Hassan.

Ideally, New Delhi would want Waheed to amend the Constitution so the newly elected government should serve for a full tenure rather than the remaining one year. Indian diplomatic managers want Waheed to step down and pave way for an interim government under Speaker which could hold free and fair elections for a stable government as early as possible.

But the pragmatic picture shows that India will deal with both Waheed and Nasheed for a stable government in Male and does not expect the current President to step down before elections.


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