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Chinese investments will not "shake" our ties with India: Maldives

Date 23-Nov-2015
Subject Chinese investments will not "shake" our ties with India: Maldives


NEW DELHI: Amidst India's concerns over increasing Chinese presence there, the Maldives today said China's economic presence is felt in almost every corner of the world but asserted that it should not "worry" India, with whom its ties will not be "shaken" by Chinese investors.

On a visit here during which she held talks with her Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj, Maldivian Foreign Minister Duniya Maumoon said that India-Maldives ties have "sufficient depth" and that her country discusses with India almost all issues, including the political situation.

"China's economic presence is felt in almost every corner of the world; from Bombay to London, and New York to Sydney. The Maldives is a country that is open for business, particularly in the infrastructure sector. There are Chinese investors in the Maldives, who have brought capital with them to invest in large projects. That should not worry India.

"China's economic presence is felt in almost every corner of the world; from Bombay to London, and New York to Sydney. The Maldives is a country that is open for business, particularly in the infrastructure sector. There are Chinese investors in the Maldives, who have brought capital with them to invest in large projects. That should not worry India.

"The Maldives' relations with India has sufficient depth and will not be shaken by the presence of Chinese investors in the Maldives," Maumoon told PTI in an interview.

On whether the bitterness which India and the Maldives have witnessed in their ties in recent past has gone, the Foreign Minister, who is daughter of former Maldivian President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, said as close neighbours, and members of SAARC, there will always be points that require clarifications from each other and asserted that their relationship was "robust and strong".

"We discuss with India almost all the issues, including the political situation in the Maldives. And unlike the West, India understands that democracy consolidating is a process that is full of challenges. The challenges of developing institutions.....," she said and added that the Maldives and India enjoy a special relationship.

"That is a relationship, which is rooted in shared history, culture, and civilizational experiences. President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom places a special importance in expanding these ties into new areas, such as bilateral investment and trade," the Maldivian Foreign MInister said and also described as "golden" the years during which her father was ruling the country for the ties.

The minister also talked about several other issues during the interview which included increasing threat of radicalisation in the Maldives, the reasons behind imposition of State of Emergency recently and former President Nasheed's incarceration which has invited a lot of international criticism.

Asked about threat of increasing radical Islamic forces in the Maldives, she said, "Religious radicalism and fanaticism would be causes of concern for any country anywhere....The Maldives government is working on a carefully formulated programme of increasing awareness among the public on the dangers of radicalism, and in upholding the true values of Islam...." and the traditions of the Maldives.

On Nasheed's arrest and subsquent imprisonment for 13 years under terror charges, the minister said it was a "test case" to tell everyone that no one is above the law.

"There have been criticisms from some countries, and I have to say it also appears that such criticisms have not considered the full circumstances of the case.

"We should not forget that the former President was charged and convicted for ordering the military to unlawfully abduct the Chief Judge of the Criminal Court and hold him in a military training camp for 21 days. That is a criminal offence in any country," she added.

Source: economictimes.indiatimes.com

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