India Rebuffs the Island Nation
The Indian government has turned down the request by the Maldivian foreign minister to visit India. The hostility from India comes at a time when the two countries are experiencing a tensed relationship as a result of the Maldivian government’s decision to cancel a contract with India’s GMR Group from constructing Male’s International Airport.
Anxiety between India and Maldives accelerated when Maldivian Foreign Minister, Abdul Samad Abdullah, tried to contact New Delhi on behalf of President Mohamed Waheed, but received a negative response. President Waheed went to Delhi on a private visit and held meetings with Indian authority in a personal capacity. However, he was unable to meet with the Indian Prime Minister. The Maldivian government denies any resentment by India and the Foreign Minister has discredited Indian media reports by stressing that he had not made any request for an official meeting.
India’s decision to snub the Maldivian leader is just one of the many actions the country took in response to a cancellation of one of its high-profile investments. India has also imposed visa restrictions to Maldivians along with withdrawing a special favor that previously granted Maldivian vessels access to Indian ports. Strong official responses to the Maldivian decision to hamper Indian investment do not bode well for a relationship already heading in the wrong direction.