The Maldives government on Tuesday cancelled the agreement of GMR group to manage the Male International Airport, triggering a diplomatic confrontation with India, which has reacted sharply to the decision.
“We have noted the decision by the government of Maldives to terminate the agreement with the GMR Group to manage the Male International Airport,” said Syed Akbaruddin spokesperson of external affairs ministry.
Akbaruddin said the investment by GMR represents the single largest foreign direct investment in the history of Maldives.
“The decision to terminate the contract with GMR without due consultation with the company or efforts at arbitration provided for under the agreement sends a very negative signal to foreign investors and the international community. The government of India would continue to remain engaged with the government of Maldives on this issue, and would expect that the government of Maldives would fulfil all legal processes and requirements in accordance with the relevant contracts and agreement it has concluded with GMR in this regard.”
The $500 million contract was awarded for 25 years to the GMR during the tenure of the ousted president Nasheed and has faced considerable opposition from the current regime of President Waheed.
In a recent interview, special advisor to president Waheed, Hassan Saeed had accused the GMR group of ‘extensive bribery’ to buy MPs in order to have a parliamentary majority during the tenure of Nasheed.
In a statement the GMR group has termed the move ‘unilateral’ and ‘completely irrational’ and have said that the termination notice is ‘unlawful’ and ‘premature’.