Ties worsen as India snubs Maldives envoy

GettyThe Maldives is made up of 26 coral atolls and 1,192

GettyThe Maldives is made up of 26 coral atolls and 1,192

The Maldives Broadcasting Commission had earlier warned media stations they could face closure if they were deemed a threat to national security, incited unrest with false information or endangered the public interest, according to news reports.

"Anyone now residing in the country should consider ending their stay".

The Foreign Affairs Ministry in Jerusalem is warning Israeli citizens against traveling to the Maldives during Passover due to the political crisis in the island country.

During a visit by Yameen to Beijing in December, the two countries signed a trade agreement that eliminates most tariffs on Maldivian exports, primarily fish, and opens the Maldives to Chinese goods and services, including in finance, health care and tourism.

It also notes "there is no prohibition in Israeli law against visiting the aforementioned areas".

The tiny island nation has been grappling with a political crisis after the president refused to obey a Supreme Court order to release nine political prisoners and declared a state of emergency.

Maldives President Abdulla Yameen refused on Thursday to meet senior European diplomats who were the first foreign dignitaries to visit the troubled nation since his crackdown on the islands' judiciary.

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A day after the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein called the Maldivian crisis an "all-out assault on democracy", an European Union delegation arrived in the Maldives as Yameen continued to tighten his grip on power.

"Sadly the Maldivian government refuses dialogue today with my UK/EU colleagues..." "That is surely not the way forward". While India and Pakistan are strategic rivals in Saarc, of which the Maldives too is a part, foreign policy observers feel President Yameen has sought to send a clear signal to New Delhi that his government can survive with Chinese, Pakistani and Saudi support, something that is bound to send alarm bells ringing in New Delhi.

Yesterday, Maldives ambassador to India Ahmed Mohamed tweeted that his government was also eager to send an envoy to New Delhi, but the dates proposed for the visit were "not suitable" for Indian officials. Sources said India has "not seen any real action on the concerns stated by the global community and India" and that "democratic institutions and the judiciary continue to be undermined and concerns ignored, (and that) these issues need to be properly addressed".

Not India first? Maldives sends its first envoys to explain Emergency declaration to "friendly nations" China, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan.

The country has been in political turmoil since last Friday, when the supreme court issued an order for the release of imprisoned opposition politicians.

Yameen later got a minority bench to reverse the February 1 order. In response, President Yameen arrested judges of the supreme court along with top political leaders.

New Delhi has received multiple appeals from the country's exiled former President Mohamed Nasheed to intervene to resolve the deepening crisis, saying that seeking an internal solution to the ongoing crisis could lead to chaos.

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