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Nasheed leaves Indian Mission on 11th day of his stay

Source: PTI
February 23, 2013 18:52 IST
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Ending eleven days of stalemate, ex-Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed on Saturday walked out of the Indian High Commission in Male where he was holed up since last Wednesday to evade an arrest warrant.

Nasheed walked out of the mission at 4:15 pm (IST) after which India said it hoped that with this development the former president will again resume his social and political life.

"We welcome this development," President Mohamed Waheed's Press Secretary Masood Imad told PTI in Male adding there was no arrest warrant against Nasheed at the moment.

However, he also added that "I am happy that the longest meeting in world has ended. We were formally told by the high commission on the first day that Nasheed had come into the mission for a meeting and will be out once it is over."

Nasheed has been in the Indian Mission since February 13 to evade arrest after he failed to appear in court on charges of detaining Chief Criminal Judge Abdulla Mohamed during his presidency. His party claimed that the case was politically motivated and designed to disqualify him from taking part in September presidential polls.

"It will be recalled that the former president had entered the Indian Mission in Male on 13 February 2013 on his own volition and had similarly decided to leave on his own.

"It is hoped that with this development the former president will again resume his social and political life," the ministry of external affairs said in a statement in New Delhi.

The breakthrough came after a high-level MEA team led by Joint Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla was sent to Maldives where it held a series of meetings with senior government ministers and various other stakeholders.

The government of India wishes to thank all those who have cooperated in these efforts, the MEA statement said. It said that India has been working closely with the government and other relevant stakeholders in Maldives to strengthen the democratic framework of the country.

India has maintained broad based contacts with all political parties and democratic institutions in Maldives without interfering in its internal affairs.

"The Government of India urges all parties to maintain peace and calm and hopes to continue its positive engagement in the spirit of the close and friendly relations between the two countries," it said.

The official statement also referred to remarks by Minister of External Affairs Salman Khurshid to his Maldivian counterpart that India has traditional and age old ties of friendship and cooperation with Maldives.

India would be happy to support all efforts to create favourable conditions for free, fair, credible and inclusive presidential elections in September 2013 that can contribute to durable peace, stability and prosperity in Maldives and the region, it added.

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