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Malaysia raised GMR airport issue: India

Source : IANS
Last Updated: Fri, Dec 21, 2012 11:10 hrs

New Delhi, Dec 21 (IANS) During his meeting with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh here, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak had raised the matter of the Maldives scrapping an airport deal with GMR, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said Friday.

"The matter (regarding GMR) was mentioned," Khurshid told media persons here.

The Malaysian government-owned MAHB holds 23 percent while Indian construction major GMR holds 77 percent stake in the joint venture GMR Male International Airport Pvt Ltd, which was formed to develop the Ibrahim Nasir International Airport in Male.

The Maldives government had scrapped the $500 million deal with GMR on Nov 27, leading to India voicing concern over the step and calling on the Maldives to ensure the safety and security of Indian people and business in the archipelago nation.

The deal had been inked in 2010 by the earlier government of President Mohammed Nasheed. GMR has sought over $800 million compensation from the Maldives for the termination of the airport deal.

Khurshid said India had asked for "an update" on Malaysia's side of the issue.

The Malaysian prime minister was here to attend the Dec 20-21 ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit.

The Malaysian foreign minister had visited the Maldives earlier this month to discuss the issue.

Khurshid said the Singapore court's ruling on the issue is binding on all parties.

On Dec 6, the Singapore High Court, which is acting as arbitrator in the matter, had given a ruling in favour of the Maldives government. The Maldives government has asked GMIAL to vacate and remove all property from the airport within 30 days.

GMR is now seeking follow-up on the compensation and damages, he said.

On the apparent political reasons behind the ouster of GMR, Khurshid said India has "suggested to Male" to "keep them contained and not (allow them) to spill over into their bilateral relations".

"The quality of performance" of the GMR-led consortium "was not the ground for the ouster", he added,



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