Nasheed leaves Indian High Commission in Male

Male/New Delhi, Feb 23 (IANS) Former Maldives president Mohamed Nasheed left the Indian High Commission here Saturday, 11 days after he sought refuge following an arrest warrant against him in a court case.

He left the Indian High Commission at 4.15 p.m. Indian time, according to the Indian external affairs ministry.

A large number of his supporters gathered outside the Indian chancery to greet Nasheed as he left the premises. He went to the Dharubaaruge convention centre to address a press conference.

"It is hoped that with the development today former president Nasheed will again resume his social and political life," the Indian external affairs ministry said.

Nasheed "had entered India's Mission in Male on Feb 13 on his own volition and decided to leave on his own", the ministry added.

A four-member Indian delegation led by Harsh Vardhan Shringla, joint secretary of the Indian external affairs ministry, had landed in Male Wednesday to hold talks with several senior government representatives, leaders of all major political parties and heads of independent institutions.

In a statement Saturday, the external affairs ministry said that India has been working closely with the government and other relevant stakeholders in the Maldives to strengthen the country's democratic framework.

"India has maintained broad based contacts with all political parties and democratic institutions in Maldives without interfering in its internal affairs."

The statement said India urges all parties to maintain peace and calm and hopes to continue its positive engagement in the spirit of the close and friendly relations between the two countries.

Indian External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid has conveyed to his Maldivian counterpart that India has traditional and age old ties of friendship and cooperation with the Maldives.

"India would be happy to support all efforts to create favourable conditions for free, fair, credible and inclusive Presidential elections in September 2013 that can contribute to durable peace, stability and prosperity in Maldives and the region," it said.

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