Indian Ambassador Akhilesh Mishra met with the Maldives’ Foreign Secretary Ahmed Sareer again on Wednesday, after India reiterated its call on the Maldivian government to comply with the Supreme Court ruling of February 1. This is the second meeting in a week; both diplomats had met last Thursday.
The foreign ministry announced the meeting in a tweet, stating that Sareer and Mishra had discussed ongoing political developments. The foreign secretary had also reiterated the Maldivian government’s commitment to work with international partners including India.
India had issued a stern statement on Tuesday following the government’s decision to seek parliament approval for the extension of the State of Emergency, which was first issued following the apex court ruling on February 1.
In the statement issued by India’s Ministry of External Affairs, India had called on the Maldivian government not to extend the state of emergency “so that the political process in Maldives can resume with immediate effect” and urged the government to implement the apex court ruling of February 1, “in letter and spirit.”
“After revocation of the emergency, democratic institutions including the judiciary should be allowed to function independently and in a fair and transparent manner in accordance with the Constitution.”
The statement also highlighted the importance of returning to the path of democracy and rule of law so that the aspirations of Maldivian people will be met, as well as the concerns of the international community are assuaged.
India-Maldives relations took a blow in the wake of the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling on February 1 to release political prisoners and reinstate 12 unseated legislators. India had strongly urged the Maldivian government to comply with the top court order. It had also raised concerns when President Yameen declared the state of emergency a few days later and arrested several prominent figures, including former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom and two top court justices, for allegedly giving and accepting bribes to stage a coup via the apex court.
Despite the urging from opposition parties and international bodies, the parliament on Tuesday passed to extend the state of emergency by 30 more days.