President Waheed says he is committed to holding elections

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday expressed the hope that all shades of political opinion in Maldives would get together to find a way forward as President Mohamed Waheed expressed his deep commitment to democracy and conduct of elections.

Mr. Waheed, who is on his first foreign visit since assuming power in a tumultuous political transition in February, held wide-ranging talks with Dr. Singh during which he briefed him on the current political situation in his country, official sources said here.

The President also briefed Dr. Singh on the issues related to the National Commission of Inquiry set up by the Maldives government to look into what had transpired on February 7, 2012, when Mr. Waheed took over following Mohamed Nasheed's resignation. Mr. Nasheed had later claimed that he was forced to quit the post.

During the meeting, Dr. Singh assured Mr. Waheed of continued “strong Indian support” for the development of Maldives and said “peace and stability” in Maldives was important to India, the sources said.

Reiterating commitment to long-standing friendship with India, Mr. Waheed emphasised continued adherence to all agreements, the sources said. He also thanked India for its support.

Mr. Waheed said Maldives looked to India in learning democratic governance.

President Waheed is expected to meet businessmen during his five-day visit to seek Indian investments in his country.

Earlier, External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna called on Mr. Waheed and discussed various aspects of bilateral relations.

Mr. Waheed's visit comes barely three weeks after his political rival and predecessor Mr. Nasheed came here to drum up support for his call for early presidential polls.

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