Top sources at the Ministry of Defence Tuesday said that former Maldivian president Mohamed Nasheed had not briefed Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman about the situation in his country when they met in Bengaluru last Sunday.
The clarification came after Nasheed, who lives in exile in Colombo, tweeted a photograph of him seated across Sitharaman with a caption: “Pleasure to meet and brief Indian Minister of Defence Nirmala Sitharaman on the situation in the Maldives.”
Ministry sources in New Delhi told The Indian Express that the meeting that Nasheed referred to was an “unscheduled, chance meeting in Bengaluru on the sidelines of a function organised by a well-known Chennai-headquartered media house. Further, there was no discussion on the situation in the Maldives.”
“After addressing the function, the Defence Minister, editors and senior members of the media house were having a cup of tea in an adjoining room when former president Nasheed, also an invitee to the event, approached the minister. Only courtesies were exchanged after which the minister left for the airport to return to New Delhi. Defence Minister Sitharaman did not discuss the situation in the Maldives with the former Maldivian leader,” sources said, adding that the “social media post by the former Maldivian president was uncalled for”.