Maldivian President to write to Manmohan

The Maldivian President Waheed will shortly send a communication to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh explaining his country’s decision to annul GMR's contract for modernising the Male International airport.

This message was communicated during a telephonic conversation that the Maldives Foreign Minister had with the External Affairs Minister, Salman Khurshid, on Tuesday. On December 1, the Maldives Government decided to revoke the contract of GMR Group-led consortium to modernise Male airport. The Group has been asked to vacate the airport by December 7.

During the conversation, Khurshid reiterated that the Maldives Government should not give the sense that India and Maldives were drifting apart. The Indian External Affairs Minister also said that it would be best if the matter is settled amicably.

Official sources said that there was no question of India cutting back on aid to Maldives. India provides annual budgetary support to Maldives. This year's Budgetary support has not yet been disbursed giving rise to speculation that India was cutting back on aid to the island-nation.

"It is not unusual for budgetary support to be disbursed towards the end of the year because of the various Government procedures involved. This in no way means that India is slowing down its aid to Maldives. In fact, this is not the first year that budgetary support is provided towards the end of the year,” a senior Government official said.

Yesterday, the Singapore High Court had stayed the termination of the Indian infrastructure giant’s Male airport project by the Maldives government.

(This article was published on December 4, 2012)
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