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"No reason to cut ties with Qatar", ex-pres slams govt

Aishath Mihna Nasih
15 June 2017, MVT 13:51
Former President Maumoon pictured at Velana International Airport after arriving in Maldives after three months abroad. PHOTO:Hussain Waheed/Mihaaru
Aishath Mihna Nasih
15 June 2017, MVT 13:51

Former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom stated that there is no reasonable cause for the Maldives to severe diplomatic ties with Qatar, proclaiming that Qatar has not done anything wrong with regards to the archipelago.

Speaking to the press after arriving in the Maldives on Wednesday night after three months abroad, Maumoon noted that diplomatic relations were first established between the Maldives and Qatar during his administration. He added that the relationship had remained strong and friendly between both states henceforth.

While the Maldives remains among the few Islamic countries who cut diplomatic relations with Qatar, former President Maumoon declared, as a 100 percent Islamic country, the Maldives must always secure and maintain strong relations with other Islamic states.

Amidst rumors that the Maldives’s decision was influenced by Saudi Arabia, Maumoon said that taking such a decision to follow or by the influence of another country would hinder the 100 percent Islamic image of the island nation.

Noting that other South Asian Muslim-majority states such as Pakistan, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Indonesia and Afghanistan have not intervened in the issue, Maumoon stated that their refusal to cut ties with Qatar does not reflect that they support terrorism. On the contrary, he declared that such countries believe that Qatar is a state similar to them, which is also looking forward for development.

Adding that isolation is never beneficial for a country like the Maldives, Maumoon further criticized the government's decision to severe ties with Iran and the Commonwealth.

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