GMR issue hangs fire as Maldives promises detailed reply
04 Dec 2012
Uncertainty continues about the fate of the Maldives contract with India's GMR Infrastructure Ltd to develop and operate its airport in Male. After the new Maldives government unilaterally terminated the $500 million contract calling it illegal, GMR on Monday won a case against the termination in the Singapore High Court (See: Singapore HC stays Maldives action against GMR); but Male insisted that it would boot out GMR in any case (Maldives says won't budge on GMR airport takeover).
With India expressing strong concern over the issue, reports emerged today about phone conversations between Maldives foreign minister Abdul Samad Abdullah Jihad and his Indian counterpart Salman Khurshid, where Khurshid was told that Maldives would send a detailed report on the matter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh officially affirming his country's stand.
However, whether the Maldives will soften its stand or not remains a matter of speculation.
After the Maldivian government terminated the contentious project under domestic political pressures, GMR had moved the Singapore High Court against the decision. Under the project contract, in case of differences between the parties, the law of either Singapore or the UK would apply.
The Maldivian Airport Co Ltd had on 27 November terminated the contract under the government's instructions. The contract was given to GMR in 2010 during the previous regime of President Mohamed Nasheed, who was ousted this year in a virtual coup by vurrent President Waheed.
Immediately after the Singapore High Court verdict, Maldives had made it clear that its termination decision was "non-reversible and non-negotiable" and said no such injunction can be issued against a sovereign state.