‘Male should curb elements harming ties’ - The New Indian Express

‘Male should curb elements harming ties’

Published: 08th December 2012 10:25 AM

Last Updated: 08th December 2012 10:25 AM

As Maldives takes over the operation of the Ibrahim Nasir International Airport from the GMR Group, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid on Friday said that the Male government should control “quarters” that want to harm relations with India.

 Following the Singapore High Court’s judgment on Thursday, decks were cleared for the state-run airport authority to take over from the GMR group from Friday night. The Maldives Government had terminated the contract of GMR-led consortium to operate and develop the 25-year-old contract on November 27, following which the Indian firm had started arbitration proceedings in Singapore.

 The anti-GMR campaign had been led by fringe political parties supporting President Mohamed Waheed. The chief among them is the ultra-religious Islamist Adhalaath party, which has been leading a vitriolic campaign.  Obliquely referring to these groups, Khurshid said, “If any quarters there (in Maldives) want that our relations should be harmed, then they should be controlled. I think Maldives and its people know this thing properly and I am sure that they will do the same thing”.

 He reasserted that Male had to go through the legal processes properly. “If they have to take a decision in interest of their society and country and if that decision is taken properly as per laws there, what objections can anyone have there. We would want that whatever is the decision, it should not put any question marks on our friendly relations,” he said.  “On the commercial discussions, we don’t have the right and there is no justification for it. Try to understand the issue in the right context and I think there is nothing to worry about,” he said.

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