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Maldives lauds "democratic" UK after Brexit

Mohamed Visham
26 June 2016, MVT 13:34
A file photo shows foreign minister Dhunya Maumoon at a press conference. MIHAARU PHOTO
Mohamed Visham
26 June 2016, MVT 13:34

Maldives on Friday hailed the decision by the United Kingdom to leave the European Union labeling the historic referendum as a clear demonstration of democracy.

Britons had cast aside warnings of isolation and economic disaster to vote 52 percent-48 percent in favour of quitting the European Union in the June 23 referendum.

Foreign minister Dunya Maumoon said in a statement that the referendum has clearly shown British people’s commitment to determine their own future and to assert their sovereignty.

"Britain is an important bilateral partner of the Maldives, and is among the most important source markets for Maldives tourism," the minister said in the statement.

"The Government has been working closely with the UK in strengthening the country’s partnerships with the EU, the Commonwealth, and other multilateral forums, in strengthening democracy in the Maldives, and in finding common solutions to global challenges, such as climate change."

The minister also assured that Maldives would continue to work closely with the UK in overcoming challenges and in promoting shared values.

The historic vote, fought on the battlefronts of the economy and immigration, toppled Prime Minister David Cameron, pounded sterling and led Moody’s to downgrade Britain’s credit rating outlook to “negative”.

It exposed deep divisions in Britain too, as more than two million people desperately called for a new vote and support for Scottish independence surged.

Cameron has said he will stay on until a successor is found from within his governing Conservative party, which could take until October, at which point the new prime minister will launch the EU exit negotiations.

But European powers urged Britain not to delay amid fears of a domino-effect of exit votes in eurosceptic member states that could imperil the integrity of the bloc.

Ministers of the six original EU members — Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg — held an emergency meeting to grapple with the first defection in the bloc’s 60-year history.