Maldives govt warns India against interfering in its internal affairs

Maldives President Yameen. Photo: Twitter
The Maldives has warned India against taking "any actions" that could hinder resolving the political crisis in the country, as New Delhi expressed its deep dismay over the extension of emergency in the island nation.

The Maldivis' Foreign Ministry in a statement late last night said President Abdulla Yameen's government takes note of the public statements issued by the Indian Government that "ignore the facts and ground realities" with regard to the ongoing political developments in the Maldives.

It said that India's assertion that the extension of the state of emergency for 30 days was unconstitutional is a clear "distortion of facts, which ignore the constitution and laws of the Maldives."

"There is no doubt that the Maldives is experiencing one of the most difficult periods in the history of the nation. It is therefore important that friends and partners in the international community, including India, refrain from any actions that could hinder resolving the situation facing the country," it said.

"The Government of Maldives reiterates its firm commitment to work closely with the international community, including India, to address the concerns they might have," the statement said.

Persisting with its displeasure over the extension of emergency in the Maldives, India yesterday said it does not see a valid reason for the Maldivian parliament to do so and maintained that it continues to watch the situation in the island nation.

India has expressed "deep dismay" over the Maldivian parliament accepting President Abdulla Yameen's recommendation to extend the state of emergency by another 30 days in a manner New Delhi dubbed as a "matter of concern".

On Tuesday, the Maldives' Parliament extended the state of emergency by another 30 days, bolstering President Yameen's grip on power in the troubled Indian Ocean island nation.

President Yameen had first declared emergency on February 5 after the Supreme Court ordered the release of a group of Opposition leaders, who had been convicted in widely criticised trials. Among them was exiled ex-President Mohamed Nasheed. The court said his 2015 trial had been unconstitutional.

The state of emergency will now end on March 22.

There has been international condemnation of the Maldivian government's moves, including the imposition of the emergency.

The US has also expressed disappointment over the development in the Maldives and asked President Yameen to uphold the rule of law in the troubled Indian Ocean island nation.

Yameen has rejected an offer of mediation by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.

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