In Phone Call, PM Modi and Donald Trump Discuss Maldives Crisis: 10 Points

 
In Phone Call, PM Modi and Donald Trump Discuss Maldives Crisis: 10 Points

 

NEW DELHI:  Amid escalating political crisis in Maldives, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump spoke on phone yesterday and discussed the developments in the tiny island nation, the White House said. In their first phone call this year, the two global leaders also discussed the situation in Afghanistan and ways to enhance security in the Indo-Pacific region. Maldives plunged into crisis last week after President Abdulla Yameen refused to comply with the Supreme Court verdict quashing terrorism convictions against nine leading opposition figures including the exiled former Maldivian president Mohamed Nasheed, who was the country's first democratically elected president. The court had said that their trials were "politically motivated and flawed".
Here are 10 key points from their conversation:
"Both leaders expressed concern about the political crisis in Maldives and the importance of respect for democratic institutions and rule of law," the White House said in a statement.
The White House said the two leaders pledged to continue working together to enhance security and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region.
Maldives' Supreme Court Chief Justice Abdulla Saeed and another judge, Ali Hameed, were arrested hours after Yameen declared a state of emergency.
The special envoy of the Maldivian president had reached out to India, but was told by New Delhi that Indian leaders were not available for a briefing from President Abdulla Yameen's emissary on the crisis in the tiny island nation.
They repeated their commitment to Afghanistan's security. "Affirming President Trump's South Asia strategy, they reiterated their commitment to supporting Afghanistan's security and stability," the White House said.
Washington recently cut aid to Pakistan, India's nuclear-armed neighbour and arch-rival, over accusations it failed to root out Taliban and Haqqani network militants that have contributed to the long-running war in Afghanistan.
PM Modi and Trump also addressed the plight of more than 680,000 Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh putting enormous pressure in the economy of Bangladesh. Recently Myanmar and Bangladesh agreed on a roadmap of return of these refugees to their homes in Myanmar. The US believes that this is not the right time for the return of Rohingya refugees.
The White House added that Trump and PM Modi also discussed steps to ensure denuclearisation of North Korea. Washington has been leading diplomatic efforts to ramp up international pressure on Pyongyang over its nuclear weapons and missile programmes.
"The leaders agreed to strengthen security and economic cooperation as they look forward to the '2+2' ministerial dialogue between their defence and diplomatic officials in April," the White House said. The '2+2 dialogue' was announced after the White House meeting between Modi and Trump in June 2017.
The dialogue would involve External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and their American counterparts Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis.

Source: (ndtv.com)