Former Minister of Islamic Affairs and member of Adhaalth Party Dr Abdul Majeed Abdul Bari has refuted public accusations against Saudi Arabia which are branding the kingdom as a terrorist-producing hub.
Saudi Arabia and its royal family are currently under fire over plans to allegedly buy ownership of Faafu atoll during the official visit of Saudi's King Salman Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud to the Maldives in the third week of March. Accusing Saudi Arabia of producing terrorists, some people are declaring that local scholars who receive education from the kingdom are supporters of religious extremism.
Countering these accusations, Dr Majeed pointed out that several top officials serving the nation were educated in Saudi Arabia but none of them are aligned with any terrorist groups such as ISIS.
He also noted that, till date, there have not been any reports of former Maldivian students of Saudi Arabian universities being in any such involvement, whereas some locals have been allegedly joining terrorist groups.
Moreover, Majeed highlighted that the Maldives and Saudi Arabia have shared close bilateral relations within the past years, and praised Saudi Arabia as being ahead of all Islamic nations. He stressed that therefore, Saudi Arabia should also be given the opportunity to invest in the Maldives like all others.
“We [Adhaalath Party] believe that Saudi Arabia is a good country to partner with in our developmental projects. But it should only be conducted within the guidelines of the Constitution.”
Majeed stated that investing in developmental projects and taking ownership of Maldivians lands are two different things, and that Adhaalath Party is completely against the latter.
Regarding the Faafu Atoll issue, Adhaalath has also raised concerns over the government withholding details of the project.
Furthermore, Majeed urged people not to throw accusations at the Saudi monarch regarding the project as the issue is the responsibility of the Maldives' government.
“Saudi Arabia is not taking anything from us by force. It is we who changed the Constitution to sell off our islands. There is no call to defame honoured diplomats who are visiting the country,” said Majeed.