Modi, Trudeau urge Maldives to restore democratic process

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Stepping up the pressure on Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen after the Maldives extended the state of emergency, both India and Canada on Friday in a joint statement “deplored the degradation of judicial independence and authority and of democratic institutions” in the tiny archipelago nation.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi discussed the situation in the Maldives with visiting Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Modi said there was a similarity of views with Trudeau on the issue of “restoration of the independence of democratic institutions”  in the Maldives.  Late on Thursday night, the Maldives had sharply criticised India, saying that statements by the Indian government on the situation “ignore the facts and ground realities” and are a “clear distortion of facts”.

The joint statement released mentioned the situation in the Maldives, saying, “The two leaders (Modi and Trudeau) expressed strong concern about the recent developments in Maldives and their implications for a free society. They deplored the degradation of judicial independence and authority and of democratic institutions, as well as respect for fundamental freedoms, such as free speech. The government of Maldives was urged to ensure early resumption of the political process.”

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