New Delhi, Oct 29 (UNI) External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee today welcomed the election of Mr Mohamed Nasheed as the new President of the Republic of Maldives, describing it as an important milestone in the history of the Indian Ocean island nation.
In a statement here the External Affairs Minister said the election of Mr Nasheed marks the ushering in of a new era in democracy and political reform in that country.
''We express our appreciation at the free and fair nature of the elections wherein the people of Maldives turned up in large numbers and made their choice,'' Mr Mukherjee said. .
Observing that India and the Maldives had traditionally enjoyed excellent bonds of friendship and cooperation, he expressed confidence that the new democratically-elected government would strengthen these links and build on the close and multi-faceted engagement between the two countries.
Mr Nasheed was elected the country's President defeating Mr Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, the longest serving President in the country's history who has ruled for three decades.
UNI RB AE KP2340