US ‘in lockstep with India’ on Maldives

February 18th, 2012 - 12:27 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, Feb 18 (IANS) Noting that India has “traditionally played a strong role” in Maldives, the US has said it was working closely with India in resolving the political impasse there after the abrupt exit of its first democratically president last week.

“We’ve been closely coordinating with India. India has traditionally played a strong role,” State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland told reporters Friday.

“Our understanding is that we are pretty well in lockstep with India in terms of calling for unity and calling for a democratic, peaceful path forward.”

The US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, Robert Blake and his Indian counterpart “are working very closely together on these issues,” she said. Blake had recently travelled to Maldives to take stock of the situation.

Mohamed Nasheed, who won a historic election in 2008 and became the Maldives’ first democratically elected president, resigned last week in what he said was a coup on the Indian Ocean archipelago.

Nuland also welcomed “the efforts that all sides appear to be making to find a peaceful way forward,”

“We also welcome the ongoing dialogue among Maldivians regarding the role of a unity government in addressing these issues and possibly creating the conditions for early elections. We’re continuing to urge all parties to work together to find a way through this,” she said.

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at arun.kumar@ians.in)

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