India to Maldives: GMR row should not damage bilateral ties
Amid a diplomatic row over cancellation of the GMR contract, India on Friday asked Maldives to control any quarters which may be trying to harm bilateral relations saying the issue should not put a "question mark" on the ties between the two sides.
"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," External Affairs minister Salman Khurshid told reporters. The minister was asked to comment on the developments in the GMR issue outside Parliament House complex.
"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," Khurshid said.
Asked if the Indian Government would "intervene" in the issue, the minister said, "For commercial enterprises no one intervenes, but we have been assured about the security and safety of our citizens and interests there. To that extent, it is our right and we have also told them about this right." "On the commercial discussions, we don't have the right and there is no justification for it. Try to understand the issue in right context and I think there is nothing to worry about," he said.
In a surprise move on November 27, Maldives terminated the over USD 500 million contract awarded to GMR during the previous regime of Mohamed Nasheed to upgrade its Male airport and to build a new terminal. The government had claimed it was terminating the contract because it was signed under "dubious conditions" and was void, a charge hotly contested by the infrastructure major.
- Asian Tribune -