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Maldives president postpones trip to India

Updated: 2013-12-18 16:20
( Xinhua)

COLOMBO - Maldives President Abdulla Yameen has postponed his trip to India, previously scheduled for this weekend, local media reported here Wednesday.

President's Office earlier revealed that President Yameen will travel to India on his maiden official foreign visit, in reply to an invitation extended by Prime Minister Mamohan Singh.

Spokesperson at the President's Office Ibrahim Muaz Ali said that the trip has been postponed indefinitely. He did not reveal a reason for the push-back.

"President's India trip has been postponed. We don't know a date just yet,"Muaz said.

Indian newspaper The Hindu reported President Yameen was forced to postpone as Indian President Pranab Mukherjee will not be present in the national capital from 20 December till the beginning of next year.

It continued to state that India wants to lay out the red carpet for President Yameen by designating his visit as a State visit, which requires Mukherjee's presence as he will host the state banquet for the Maldivian president.

India was one of the first countries to congratulate Yameen after his win on November 16 and both parties agreed on a visit soon after. India was a strong presence during the presidential election, that was mired in delays and controversy for nearly three months.

On December 12, Sri Lankan High Commissioner Dickson Sarathchandra Dela also presented a letter on behalf of President Mahinda Rajapaksa inviting President Abdulla Yameen to visit Sri Lanka.

However, a date for the visit is yet to be finalized.

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