Maldives on Thursday backed New Delhi over the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution from Jammu and Kashmir, saying that it is not for other countries to intervene in the decisions taken by the elected representatives of a nation.
Speaking to on the sidelines of Raisina Dialogue 2020, Maldivian Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid called India a vibrant democracy that provides fair opportunities to the voices of dissent and support alike.
"We were the first to back the Indian government on Article 370. For us, it is essential that democracy functions. In India, we see a vibrant democracy where the process of Parliament is working. If elected representatives decide on something, it becomes a law. It is not for the other countries in the region or otherwise to intervene. It is a legal, legitimate process," said Shahid.
"India has the right to decide on its laws. India is one of the most vibrant democracies in the world. This country provides the opportunity to express dissatisfaction or affection," he added.
Maldives has maintained that the abrogation of Article 370 that accorded special status to Jammu and Kashmir is India's "internal matter" -- a stance which has been maintained by the other SAARC nations, with the exception of Pakistan.
Shahid said that the groundbreaking ceremony of the stadium being built by India in the Maldives will take place soon and that, once completed, it will stand as a symbol of friendship between the two countries.
"The stadium is coming up. I have seen the drawings. Architecture is beautiful. The stadium would stand as a symbol of Maldives-India's friendship. The training of our sportsmen has started. The groundbreaking (ceremony) will take place soon," said Shahid.
( With inputs from ANI )