NEW DELHI: Embattled Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom has said that China, Russia and Saudi Arabia had blocked attempts to discuss the situation in his country at the UN Security Council.
“Up until last night, the UN security council was discussing what measures to take against the Maldives. But the discussions were unofficial. The discussions then moved to table the Maldives on its official agenda. But that move failed. Our foreign policy has also emerged victorious. This was made possible by the efforts of our closest friends. That is China, Russia and Saudi Arabia,” Yameen explained at a party rally late on Friday.
But the special envoys Yameen had rushed to these ‘friends’ had no reason to celebrate.
Foreign minister Mohamed Asim, who rushed to Islamabad after New Delhi declined his appeal for a meeting citing scheduling reasons, was told by Pakistan that it “firmly adheres to the policy of non-interference in the affairs of other countries and will continue to adhere to the principles of the UN charter in this regard”.
China too has publicly stated that it does not interfere in the internal affairs of sovereign nations and that this should be resolved within the country’s state and its citizens. It has also warned India against considering any military intervention in the troubled isles.
As for Saudi Arabia, special envoy and fisheries minister Dr Mohamed Shainee tweeted on Saturday morning: “Returned this morning after a very successful trip to Saudi Arabia. Had very productive meetings…you will see.”
Yet before his plane landed in Male, Riyadh issued a travel advisory, warning its citizens to be on alert when going to the Maldives, and to contact its embassy in case of any problems.
Despite all this, “at the moment it looks like it is advantage Yameen” an Indian diplomat said, saying the opposition and democratic institutions had been “almost crushed” into submission “while the rest of the world watches and waits helplessly.
But things could change overnight”. According to him, Yameen’s actions were mostly aimed at ensuring that the opposition “never got the numbers” to impeach him in Parliament.
On Saturday, the government announced that it was deporting two arrested AFP journalists for violating immigration laws.
While declaring that no other action would be taken against them, the government warned visitors to comply with immigration laws that prohibit working in the country without a due permit. Opposition sources said the journalists had been put aboard a flight to Bengaluru on Saturday morning.
In his address to party workers, Yameen defended the emergency and accused the opposition and the judiciary of colluding to overthrow his government. After he declared an emergency on Monday, several opposition leaders were arrested.
Unrest in Maldives:
The Maldives plunged into chaos after the Supreme Court ordered the release of nine imprisoned politicians. China maintains that there should not be any external interference, indirectly referring to India.
Former Maldivian president and opposition leader Mohamed Nasheed has been asking India for help.