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India’s vote for Maldives ‘guaranteed’ at Security Council election

Ambassadors are confident India will vote for the Maldives to get a seat on the UN Security Council, despite nosediving bilateral ties.

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India’s vote for the Maldives in the UN Security Council’s election is guaranteed, diplomats said ahead of Friday’s vote, despite nosediving bilateral relations.

The Maldives will win the Asia-Pacific seat on the UNSC, said fisheries minister Mohamed Shainee Wednesday. He is in New York as the president’s special envoy.

His confidence follow a bleak week for ties between the two nations, as it emerged that Malé had given New Delhi a deadline to take back two gifted helicopters and India denied entry to a ruling party MP.

“According to Indian foreign ministry, our two countries will never be separated despite facing small issues,” said Shainee. The relationship between Maldives and India will not be affected long-term by such things.”

India will benefit from the Maldives getting elected for the seat, RaajjeMV quoted Shainee as saying, adding that the country played a prominent role in electing India as a permanent member of the UNSC.

India has remained quiet on the vote, but last week Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Indonesia.

The Maldives is running against Indonesia for the UNSC’s Asia-Pacific seat.

SAARC members would vote for the Maldives and ASEAN countries would vote for Indonesia, said ambassador to Sri Lanka Mohamed “Mundhu” Hussain Shareef in an interview with RaajjeMV on Wednesday.

The foreign ministry announced the country’s candidacy, citing under-representation of small states, back in 2016. Last year a new website, an animated video and hashtags also surfaced to support the campaign.

It is the first time the Maldives, which has a population of several hundred thousand, has put itself forward for a seat on the body.

But the Maldives reportedly announced its intention to contest a seat in 2008, the final year of former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom’s 30-year reign, and canvassed South Asian neighbours for support.

“Ten years ago, Maldives applied for this before any other country did. Indonesia only applied two years later. That’s also something a lot of countries will look at.

“Therefore, even if we sometimes think we’re too small, big, etc, the understanding in the UN is that everyone should be given equal opportunity. Everyone should get the chance on a rotation basis,” Shainee said.

Indonesia has previously served three terms on the UNSC.

To secure election for a two-year term, a member state must receive at least two-thirds of all votes cast for that seat. Five new members are elected each year.

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