New Delhi (Sputnik): The government of the Maldives has refuted media reports that it had chosen to bypass India while sending its special envoy to other friendly countries. The Embassy of the Maldives in New Delhi has issued a clarification that it was the Indian government which declined the appointment citing time constraints of its leaders.
While Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to embark on a three-nation tour of the Middle-east, Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj is already in Saudi Arabia for crucial bilateral talks.
Earlier, a section of the Indian media had reported that the President of Maldives was sending special envoys to China, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia to discuss the country's political crisis but had chosen to ignore India.
Not India first? Maldives sends its first envoys to explain Emergency declaration to "friendly nations" China, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan. Just a month ago Yameen's envoy to Delhi had reaffirmed "India First" policy. https://t.co/o6sYoIpvKl
— Suhasini Haidar (@suhasinih) February 7, 2018
The political turmoil deepened in the Maldives after the apex court ordered the government to free political prisoners including exiled former president Mohamed Nasheed. The court had said that their trials were "politically motivated and flawed." However, the government defied the court orders and clamped a national emergency, followed by arrests of the Chief Justice and other judges.
Following the swift developments, exiled President Mohamed Nasheed called on India to step in to restore order in the troubled country.
On behalf of Maldivian people we humbly request:— Mohamed Nasheed (@MohamedNasheed) February 6, 2018
1. India to send envoy, backed by its military, to release judges & pol. detainees inc. Prez. Gayoom. We request a physical presence.
2. The US to stop all financial transactions of Maldives regime leaders going through US banks.
China, on the other hand, has asked expressed strong reservations against intervention by any of the global powers, insisting the government of Maldives and the opposition should resolve the crisis on their own internally.