The European Parliament through a resolution on Thursday asked the EU council to impose targeted sanctions against key officials of the Maldives Government and supporters in the local business community.
The move came as concerns were raised against the state of affairs in the Maldives after President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom declared a state of emergency last month.
In response to the resolution, the Maldives Government insisted that the state of emergency currently in place was declared to ensure national security and Constitutional order, to uphold the rule of law and to safeguard the peace and stability of the nation.
“This State of Emergency is only applied to individuals alleged to have carried out illegal activities in connection to the Supreme Court Order of 1 February 2018. The Government does not intend to pro-long the State of Emergency and plans to lift it as soon as the threats posed to national security are addressed satisfactorily,” the Maldives Government said.
In response to another concern raised by the EU, the Maldives Government said that the Constitution of the Maldives, the social framework and historical and traditional values, do not allow for religions other than Islam to be publicly practiced in the country.
“The Government further reiterates its firm commitment to promote moderation, mutual respect, and understanding towards other religions and nationalities,” the statement added.
The Maldives Government also said that it views terrorism and violent extremism as serious national security threats, and has been working tirelessly with international partners, including EU member countries, to prevent and counter these phenomena.
The Government says it believes that the current political deadlock can be resolved through dialogue, and hence has invited the opposition political parties for All-Party Talks.
“Genuine dialogue is only possible when all Parties commit to the process without any pre-conditions. This is necessary to pave the way to find mutually beneficial solutions to political disagreements amongst the stakeholders. The Government of Maldives therefore appreciates the European Union’s support to the dialogue process and appeals for continued respect and empowerment of the Government for its initiatives to engage relevant stakeholders,” it said.
The statement also said that the Government is committed to providing a free and stable environment for campaigns in the lead up to this year’s Presidential Elections in September and expects the European Union and all relevant stakeholders to support this endeavour.