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'India ensured Maldives' defeat in UN vote'

Fathmath Shaahunaz
19 June 2018, MVT 14:43
During a meeting of the UN Security Council.
Fathmath Shaahunaz
19 June 2018, MVT 14:43

India did not only vote against the Maldives but also worked to ensure that the island nation lost the recent elections for the UN Security Council's non-permanent seat, Indian media has reported.

The Times of India (TOI) cited diplomatic sources that "India didn't just vote for Indonesia but also worked to ensure that its hostile Indian Ocean neighbour fared poorly in the election".

Indonesia beat the Maldives and won the Asia Pacific seat on the UN Security Council for a fourth time by a landslide, during the secret ballot voting on June 8. Indonesia received 144 votes out of 190 countries that participated in the vote, while only 46 nations voted in favour of the Maldives.

According to TOI, India had signalled the countries to support Indonesia over the Maldives. The newspaper noted that the Maldivian government had earlier claimed to have support from 60 countries in writing and 30 verbally, and thus the final result fell drastically short of the Maldives' own expectations.

However, the Maldives Ambassador to India Ahmed Mohamed had claimed immediately after the vote that the Maldives received India's support in its bid for the UN seat.

TOI reported that the ambassador had told the newspaper that he still stood by his tweet.

Reports of India allegedly having worked to thwart the Maldives from succeeding the seat on the UN Security Council, come amidst strained relations between the two South Asian neighbours. Tensions peaked this year after India criticised President Abdulla Yameen's government over the state of emergency enforced in early February. Ties appear to have further soured after the Maldives decided to return two naval helicopters 'gifted' by the Indian government to the island nation, by the end of June.

Recently, top officials of both nations have also raised concerns over the denial of visas and work permits to their nationals living in the other country.

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