New Delhi: India on Friday welcomed Maldives President Mohd Waheed's decision to hold discussions with all relevant parties to conduct elections at an early date and hoped all concerned stakeholders will act in accordance with the blueprint agreed to during Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai's visit to that country.

The official spokesman of External Affairs Ministry said, in response to a question on the situation in the Maldives, that "we have seen the press release on the website of the Office of the President of Republic of Maldives Mohamed Waheed welcoming the agreement of all political parties to the blueprint that restores calm to our islands and sets out the next steps for our nation – roadmap for a possible way forward".

 The roadmap says that "in the interests of national reconciliation and to encourage harmony between our citizens, the government of national unity will hold discussions with all relevant parties to conduct elections at an early date.

"The government of national unity will work towards the conditions that will permit such elections to take place including any necessary constitutional amendments".

The spokesman said India "welcomes the press release which is as per the understanding arrived at during the Foreign Secretary’s consultations in Maldives with all concerned parties.

"We look forward to all parties, including the Maldives Democratic Party (of ousted President Mohd Nasheed) to act in accordance with the agreement reached to enable the process to move forward as envisaged", said the MEA spokesman.

Mathai, during his visit to the Maldives, had held discussions with all stakeholders in that country, including Waheed and Nasheed, and later said India's understanding was that elections "would be held as early as considered feasible by all concerned".

 Maldives was hit by a political crisis last week when Nasheed resigned, claiming that he was forced to quit.