European Union Expects Maldives Government To Engage In Talks With Opposition Leaders

Maldives Chief Justice Abdulla Saeed and another judge, Ali Hameed, were arrested yesterday, hours after President Abdulla Yameen declared a state of emergency in the island nation.

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European Union Expects Maldives Government To Engage In Talks With Opposition Leaders

A stand-off between President Abdulla Yameen and Maldives' Top Court has given rise to a political crisis


New Delhi:  The European Union has said that it expects the Maldivian government to engage in inclusive dialogue with the leaders of all political parties to pave way for "transparent and credible" polls, amid a face-off between the government and the Supreme Court.

Maldives Chief Justice Abdulla Saeed and another judge, Ali Hameed, were arrested yesterday, hours after President Abdulla Yameen declared a state of emergency in the island nation.

On Thursday, the Supreme Court had called for the release of nine imprisoned opposition politicians, ruling that their trials were politically motivated and flawed, setting the stage for the current faceoff.

The EU's statement, dated February 2, was read out by Tomasz Kozlowski, its envoy to India, during a media interaction here.

"We expect the authorities of the Maldives to abide by the ruling and for the government to engage in inclusive dialogue with the leaders of all political parties. That should pave the way for credible, transparent and inclusive elections," the statement read.

"The decision of the Supreme Court of the Maldives to annul criminal proceedings against leading politicians and admit unfair trials against them is a positive step towards restoring the democratic principles in the country," it read.

The court order opens the way for a return to the normal functioning of Parliament, which, the statement said, is a fundamental pillar of democracy.

The tiny archipelago in the Arabian Sea is a popular tourist destination and is popular among Europeans.

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