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GMR row: Maldives FM speaks to Salman Khurshid, tones down defiance

Dec 04 2012, 12:49 IST
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An upset India forces Maldives on the backfoot after it scrapped GMR airport project. (Reuters) An upset India forces Maldives on the backfoot after it scrapped GMR airport project. (Reuters)
SummaryAn upset India forces Maldives on the backfoot after it scrapped GMR airport project.

In a bid to mollify India which is upset over termination of the USD 500 million GMR project, Maldivian Foreign Minister Abdul Samad Abdullah today spoke to his Indian counterpart Salman Khurshid and told him that a detailed communication on it will be sent to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

In a telephonic call to Khurshid, Abdullah said he was not aware of India's displeasure over the issue, sources said here.

Interestingly, New Delhi has maintained that they had conveyed their displeasure to Maldives immediately after the termination of the project and asked it to ensure that Indian interest was "fully protected".

During the conversation, Abdullah said that Maldives President Mohamad Waheed will be writing a detailed communication to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh clarifying the country's position on the termination decision.

Yesterday, the Singapore High Court had stayed the unilateral termination of Indian Infrastructure giant's USD 500 million Male airport project by the Maldivian government

After the Maldivian government terminated the contentious project under domestic political pressures, GMR had moved the Singapore High Court against the decision. As per the project contract, in case of any differences between parties, the law of either Singapore or UK would apply.

The Maldivian Airport Company Limited (MACL), based on Maldivian government's instructions, had on November 27 terminated the contract, which was given to GMR in 2010 during the previous regime of President Mohamed Nasheed.

Immediately after the Singapore High Court verdict, Maldives had made it clear that its termination decision was "non-reversible and non-negotiable" and said no such injunction can be issued against a sovereign state.

"The government's decision is very clear. It is non-reversible and non-negotiable. Our decision was based on legal advice we got from our lawyers in UK and Singapore," Maldives President Mohamed Waheed's press secretary Masood Imad had said.

Upset with Maldives for terminating the project, Khurshid had said it was a major setback in the bilateral relations of the two.

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