Former presidents Maumoon Abdul Gayoom and Mohamed Nasheed censured the government late Monday over the Maldives’ decision to severe diplomatic ties with Qatar.
The Maldives cut diplomatic ties with Qatar on Monday hours after Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, UAE, Egypt and Libya announced that they are severing all relations with Qatar over the latter’s alleged support to terrorist and extremist organisations.
In a tweet, former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom expressed sorrow over the Maldives severing ties with yet another Muslim country. He noted that the archipelago had cut off Iran in 2016.
Meanwhile, former President Mohamed Nasheed criticised the government, saying that the Maldives’ foreign policy now appears to be “dictated by President Yameen's paymasters in Riyadh.” He called on the state to return to traditional South Asian alliances.
The Maldives’ decision to severe diplomatic relations with Qatar after 33 years also sparked criticism and concern from opposition lawmakers.
Galolhu North MP Eva Abdulla echoed former President Nasheed’s sentiment regarding the Maldives’ foreign policy while Meedhoo MP Rozaina Adam tweeted that President Abdulla Yameen’s decision to cut off Qatar contradicts the wishes of the citizens. She also thanked Qatar for the aid and assistance the nation provided the Maldives throughout the years. Meanwhile, Henveiru North MP Abdulla Shahid highlighted that Qatar was always a close ally of the Maldives and had invested in the island nation’s development. Hence, he warned that cutting off Qatar would result in harm.
The government of the Maldives has said that its decision to severe diplomatic relations with Qatar falls under the Maldives’ policy against terrorism and extremism. Asserting that the decision was not influenced by any external bodies, the government has assured that there will be no negative repercussions on the citizens and that the Maldives will continue to maintain trade relations with Qatar.
The Maldives first established diplomatic ties with Qatar on May 26, 1984.