Maldives set to seize airport from Indian firm
MALE (AFP) - The government of the Maldives is on Friday set to expropriate the country's main airport from an Indian firm, sparking a diplomatic crisis and fears over the direction of the politically unstable nation.
The administration of President Mohamed Waheed last week decided to revoke a 25-year lease of the airport serving the capital, asking Indian infrastructure firm GMR to quit by midnight Friday (1900 GMT), two years after it took over operations.
"There is no turning back, we will start running the airport from Friday night," Mr Waheed's spokesman Imad Masood said from Male, the capital of the country known as an upmarket honeymoon destination and celebrity hang-out.
"We will retain all staff. Even the Indian staff have been told that they can remain if they want to and have the same salary," he added.