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GMR row: Don't take any coercive action, India tells Maldives

Male/New Delhi:

The Indian government has categorically told Maldives that no arbitrary or coercive measure should be taken in GMR case pending the outcome of the legal proceedings, adding that any such action would inevitably have adverse consequences for bilateral relations.

Meanwhile, the Maldives government is going ahead with its plan to take full control of Male airport after ousting India's GMR even as it reached out to Indian government with a message that it would explain its controversial move at the highest level.

With India making no secret of its displeasure over the unilateral decision to scrap the $500 million GMR  project, Maldivian Foreign Minister Abdul Samad Abdullah today telephoned his Indian counterpart Salman Khurshid and told him that a detailed communication on it will be sent to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh by his President Mohammed Waheed.

However, Maldivian government made it clear tonight that Male airport will be taken over by a state-run company by Saturday despite Singapore High Court giving ruling in favour of Indian infrastructure company GMR. "Yes, we will go ahead with the takeover of the Airport as planned. A plan to hand over the running of the airport without any hiccups is also being worked out between the Maldivian government, its company and GMR," President Waheed's press secretary Masood Imad told PTI.

However, the Indian infrastructure major has denied that any deal for handing over the airport project has been worked out with Maldives.

During his conversation with Khurshid, Abdullah said he was not aware of India's displeasure over the issue, official sources said in New Delhi.

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".

Khurshid reiterated to Abdullah that the Maldives Government should not give the sense that India and Maldives were drifting apart and stressed the need for amicable settlement of the issue. Immediately, after the Maldivian decision to terminate GMR project, Khurshid had said it was a major setback in the bilateral relations.

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