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Maldives, Indo-Pacific region figure in Modi-Trump phone conversation

IANS  |  New York 

Indian and US have expressed concern over the political crisis in during wide-ranging discussions covering developments in and the region, according to the

"Both leaders expressed concern about the political crisis in and the importance of respect for democratic institutions and rule of law," during their phone conversation on Thursday, a statement by the press office said.

Affirming Trump's strategy, they pledged to continue working together to enhance security and prosperity in the region and to strengthen security and economic cooperation, the statement said.

They said they looked forward to the "2+2 Meeting" of the Indian ministers of defence and external affairs and the US secretaries of defence and state in April.

On Afghanistan, which was the keystone of the Strategy announced in August, they reiterated their commitment to back efforts to support the violence-wracked nation's security and stability.

Closer to India, they discussed ways to address the plight of the Rohingya refugees from and the situation in that country, the statement said.

On an issue at the top of US foreign policy priorities, North Korea, and Trump discussed further steps to denuclearise

While that is working on forging close links with the nation of atolls and backing Maldivian Abdulla Yameen, and shared a common perspective in opposing the state of emergency he declared this week and want a return to democracy.

After the overturned the terrorism conviction of former as well as the convictions of eight other politicians on several charges, Yameen impsed the state of emergency on Monday night.

Two of the five judges were arrested by government forces and the other three overturned their unanimous ruling ordering the release of the nine politicians.

As part of his South Asia strategy, Trump wanted to provide more aid to

He also put on notice for harbouring terrorists, and followed it up last month by withholding security assistance to estimated at over $1 billion.

In the region, Trump is promoting cooperation between the four democracies - Indian, US, and - to be a countervailing force to

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First Published: Fri, February 09 2018. 08:22 IST