Indian reporter working for leading media organisation arrested in Maldives

Maldives embattled president sends envoys to Pakistan China for support

In response to a query on China's role in Maldives, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Official Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said: "We note that China has said that Maldives Government has the ability to protect the security of Chinese personnel and institutions in Maldives".

Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi has since met Mohamed Saeed, special envoy of the Maldivian president and economic development minister, in Beijing and told him that the Chinese supported the Maldives in its bid to settle disputes through dialogue.

China, Nasheed implied, "is busy buying up the Maldives".

As a small country in South Asia and the Indian Ocean, Maldives has neither big strategic expectations, nor can it become a strategic pivot of China in the region.

In a statement, Ahmed Mohamed said, "The first stop of special envoy of the President was India". However, the ministry stressed that it is not illegal for Israelis to visit the Indian Ocean island nation.

Saudi Arabia is a key backer of Yameen along with China.

Srikanth Kondapalli, a professor of Chinese studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, said India was concerned about China's influence and intervention "in the internal affairs of the Maldives" through the iHavan project.

Shuang said this in reference to a spate of questions on the Maldives, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi's telephonic conversation with US President Donald Trump in which the situation in the Maldives figured prominently.

Nasheed, who is under self-exile in London, has urged India to intervene "militarily" into the crisis.

The Maldives tourism industry is facing ruin with Chinese travellers being asked to cancel any bookings and the ongoing political crisis showing no sign of being resolved.

"We await the convenience" of the government of India, he added.

The detention came as the island nation continued with the Emergency which was declared by President Abdulla Yameen on Monday.

Hours after the state of emergency was declared, security forces in riot gear and blue camouflage uniforms stormed the Supreme Court building to arrest Chief Justice Abdulla Saeed and Justice Ali Hameed.

Mr Saeed's lawyer claimed that his client received death threats before his arrest.

On Tuesday, the three judges who are still free reversed the Supreme Court's decision to drop charges against the nine political dissidents, the court said on its website.

He called for his client's immediate release. The court had said that their trials were "politically motivated and flawed".

"It is essential that India leads the global community in forcing President Yameen to comply with last week's Supreme Court order", he wrote in an op-ed article in the Indian Express newspaper on Wednesday.

Two supreme court justices who have been arrested amid a deep political crisis in the Maldives took millions of dollars in bribes in return for issuing a ruling ordering the release of imprisoned politicians that sparked the crisis, the country's acting police chief said Wednesday.

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