It’s detrimental not to engage with China: Maldives president

February 17th, 2012 - 2:18 am ICT by IANS  

Male, Feb 17 (IANS) The Maldivies’ new President, Mohamed Waheed Hassan has reaffirmed to strengthen trade and cultural ties with China, saying that it is detrimental to the Asia’s smallest country not to engage with the world’s emerging powerful nation.

Talking to a group of selected mediapersons, the president said Thursday that he would continue the Chinese mission started by his predecessor and carry on the good relationship with China, Xinhua reported.

“Like everybody in the world we are trying to promote our trade in China. China is emerging as one of the most powerful countries in the world economically,” he said.

“It will be to the detriment of Maldives not to engage with China. So we will continue to work with China and promote trade and cultural relations,” the new president said.

Over the last two weeks, the Maldives has been undergoing a political turmoil where the former president Mohamed Nasheed complained that he was ousted with a coup orchestrated by the military-backed political opponents.

Earlier in a triumph of diplomacy, India Thursday managed to broker a political deal in the Maldives, with all political parties agreeing to hold elections “as early as possible”, paving the way for a political reconciliation in the island nation.

The country plunged into turmoil after Nasheed’s resignation Feb 7.

The breakthrough came after Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai, the second senior Indian diplomat to visit the Maldives after the dramatic transfer of power, held talks with key political figures, including ousted president Mohamed Nasheed and his successor Mohamed Hassan.

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