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India wishes to see a stable, peaceful and prosperous Maldives: PM Modi

IANS/New Delhi 12 Aug 18 | 07:44 PM

FILE PHOTO: Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks during the BRICS Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa | Photo: Reuters

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called for a resumption of the political process in the Maldives.

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"As a close and friendly neighbour, India wishes to see a stable, peaceful and prosperous Maldives that meets the aspiration of its citizens," Modi said in an interview with the Times of India published on Sunday.

"Recent political developments there, however, have been a matter of considerable international concern," he said.

"We hope the Maldives government will ensure early resumption of the political process and allow democratic institutions, including the judiciary, to function independently in a fair and transparent manner. This will create a conducive environment for the presidential elections." 

Ties between India and the Maldives have been strained since President Abdulla Yameen imposed Emergency in February after the Supreme Court ordered the release and retrial of former President Mohamed Nasheed and other prisoners. The Emergency was later lifted.

Regarding Nepal, Modi said New Delhi and Kathmandu "shared historical, close, friendly and even family ties for thousands of years".

"We have reinforced these bonds with strong ties in all spheres, including defence, security, trade, investment and development partnership. As a result, this relationship today is extremely broad and incredibly deep."

In the face of Nepal Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli's affinity for China, Modi said: "It is quite natural for China or any other country to have its own relationships with others, including our neighbours."

As for Sri Lanka, Modi hoped Colombo would keep in mind India's security concerns.

"Our ties with Sri Lanka are deep-rooted, multidimensional and enduring. They stand on their own and are not dependent on our or Sri Lanka's relations with any third country.

"We have no doubt that our Sri Lankan friends will keep in mind our security concerns and sensitivities."

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