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Jumhoory Party leader slams Maldives' narrowing foreign policy

Fathmath Shaahunaz
27 December 2017, MVT 11:21
Jumhoory Party leader Qasim Ibrahim speaks at opposition coalition rally.
Fathmath Shaahunaz
27 December 2017, MVT 11:21

Jumhoory Party’s leader Qasim Ibrahim slammed the government’s foreign policy late Tuesday, warning that the Maldives would not receive any aid or assistance in crucial moments should its policy conform only to the interests of a few nations.

Qasim, who is currently in Germany for medical treatment, made the remark in his speech regarding the National Unity Day. The addresses of all the joint opposition leaders on Unity Day, which is marked to commemorate the solidarity of Maldivians in the aftermath of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, were broadcast on television.

The former lawmaker warned that if the foreign policy of the Maldives is molded to protect the interests and people of only a few select nations, no country would heed the cries of the Maldives during its moment of need.

“That day, we would be abandoned on the international plane. The ones that took advantage of us to protect their own interests would have docked their boats at a far more attractive port than us by then; they wouldn’t hear our pleas,” Qasim proclaimed.

Stating that the Maldives would receive only what it worked hard for, he urged the nation to keep up its endeavours with integrity and courage, and reach its goals as a united people.

Touching on the presidential elections slated for 2018, Qasim vowed that Maldivians would receive what they wished for soon.

“In spirit, I am always with my beloved Maldivians, in the country I love the most,” he said, expressing hopes to return to the Maldives soon.

Qasim Ibrahim was recently declared a fugitive of the state for failing to return to the Maldives from overseas within the period of time allocated by the government. Sentenced to over three years in jail on bribery charges, the government had permitted him to go to Singapore for medical treatment after his conviction. However, Qasim did not return even after his final medical leave extension expired, and was shifted to Germany for better treatment. The government declared him a fugitive and ordered him to return to serve his sentence.

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