The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has denied rumors Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi may cancel a visit to the Maldives following the arrest of former President Mohamed Nasheed on Sunday.
“I do not believe that the internal affairs of Maldives will affect the relationship between both the countries and that it will influence any planned official visits,” Foreign Minister Dunya Maumoon told the press today.
She said India and Maldives are continuing discussions on arrangements for Modi’s visit scheduled for the second week of March, and said details of the visit will be revealed after discussions.
She also denied rumors alleging China may provide military assistance to the government in dealing with the protests that have erupted after the opposition leader’s arrest.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Dunya Maumoon and India’s Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj have discussed the agenda for “a likely visit” by the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the Maldives.
Indian news outlet The Economic Times reported that the two ministers discussed efforts to strengthen bilateral ties and maritime cooperation during the 45-minute meeting held on Sunday. Dunya is currently on a private trip to India.
“Ocean diplomacy. Maritime neighbours India-Maldives to strengthen ties as they commemorate 50 years of relations,” an Indian external affairs ministry spokesman tweeted regarding the meeting.
It was also reported that the Indian prime minister may travel to the Maldives and Sri Lanka in March of this year although there has not yet been official confirmation.
Source: The Economic Times
The Maldives has presided over its first session as chair of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) in New York.
“As one of the founding members of AOSIS, it is a great honour to assume this stewardship role on what is the eve of the coalition’s twenty-fifth anniversary, and also during a critical year for international efforts to address sustainable development and climate change,” said Ambassador Ahmed Sareer, the Maldives’ Permanent Representative to the United Nations.
A statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs notes that the Maldives’ time as chair will see continued discussions to define the post-2015 development agenda as well as the crucial COP 21 talks in Paris this December, which will seek to decide upon a new framework for a legally binding agreement on climate change.
“Political momentum for action on these urgent issues is building and the Maldives is committed doing everything we can to seize this opportunity to improve the quality of life for island people and all vulnerable communities around the world,” continued Sareer, the group’s chair.
In a message to the meeting, Minister of Foreign Affairs Dunya Maumoon noted that this will present an opportunity for AOSIS to “maneuver”.
“This is the time for AOSIS countries to make the most crucial decisions for the future of our people. And the Maldives is honoured to have been entrusted with this esteemed groups’ leadership at this crucial time,” said Dunya.
Formed of 39 low-lying coastal and small island countries, the alliance focuses primarily on issues of vulenerability – particularly in reference to the effects of climate change. It functions as a lobby group within the UN system, of which its members make up 20 percent.