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US diplomat meets key leaders in Maldives

  • The United States has joined India in helping to reduce the political crisis in the Maldives.
  • US Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia Robert Blake held talks with ousted President Mohammed Nasheed and his successor Mohammed Waheed Hassan in Male today on Feb 11 on the political developments. 
  • The discussion, which lasted for half an hour, comes four days after Nasheed was forced to step down. Later, Blake met new President Hassan.
  • The meetings comes a day after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's special envoy M. Ganapathi conveyed to both the leaders India's willingness to assist in early installation of a national unity government in the Indian Ocean atoll.
  • Hassan is understood to have assured India that he would not indulge in a witch-hunt while dealing with Nasheed, who was the first democratically-elected President of Maldives.
  • Robert Blake arrived there this morning to clarify on the power transfer from former President Mohamed Nasheed to his vice president. Blake's visit to the Indian Ocean archipelago comes after criticism by former president Nasheed who expressed concern over U.S. recognition of new Maldivian administration. 
  • Nasheed insisted his resignation was the result of a coup orchestrated by opposition leaders and the former regime backed by the security forces and Waheed's government. 
  • Nasheed earlier said the U.S. move will only serve to inflame tensions in the Maldives, which was rocked by several days of violent protests following Nasheed's ouster on Feb 7.


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