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Knitting the broken threads, India calls for fast-tracking Maldives admission in Commonwealth

New Delhi, July 11: Reuniting by knitting the broken chords, India has called for fast-tracking the Maldives’ re-admission into the Commonwealth. This move came after External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar, attended the 19th Commonwealth Foreign Affairs Ministers Meeting in London.

Tensions on Commonwealth began after the huff in 2016 over criticism of the arrest of political leaders including former President Mohammed Nasheed. The July 9-11 Commonwealth Foreign Ministers meeting was hosted by the UK, the current Chair-in-Office. Jaishankar also held bilateral meetings with his counterparts from the UK, Canada and Australia and the State Minister for Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh, an official statement said on Thursday.

Jaishankar called for fast-tracking the re-admission of the Maldives to the Commonwealth. After the defeat of Abdulla Yameen who quit the Commonwealth, new President Ibrahim Mohammed Solih has applied to rejoin the body.

The Commonwealth had warned the Yameen regime of possible suspension if it failed to show progress on democracy, including freedom of speech, detention of opponents and independence of the judiciary. In retaliation, Male withdrew from the Commonwealth, accusing it of interfering in its domestic affairs.

Jaishankar also held bilateral discussions with his British counterpart, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt. They agreed to bring the entire gamut of India-UK bilateral relations into sharper focus.

Jaishankar thanked Hunt for the British government’s support to Prime Minister Modi’s initiative to build a global Coalition of Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI). In his remarks, Jaishankar congratulated the member countries on the 70th anniversary of the Commonwealth. He noted that India was well on the path of fulfilling all the commitments made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at CHOGM 2018 much before the next CHOGM in 2020.

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