Maldives not opposed to UN mediating all-party talks: Fisheries Minister

Maldives not opposed to UN mediating all-party talks: Fisheries Minister

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United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres. (Xinhua/Zhang Liyun/IANS)
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Male, Feb 22 (IANS) Maldives Fisheries Minister Mohamed Shainee on Thursday denied that the government is opposed to the UN mediation in all-party talks to resolve the ongoing political strife in the Indian Ocean nation.Shainee made the declaration following reports quoting the deputy spokesperson of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres as saying that President Abdulla Yameen had refused to allow the UN's participation as a mediator in the talks.Refuting reports as "blatant lies", Shainee told en.mihaaru.com that Yameen himself had requested the UN's assistance for the discussions, to which the organization had agreed.He insisted that the government had openly invited Maldives' international partners to send envoys to mediate in the talks."Those reports are not true. The government had not rejected any such notion. Because from the start the government has been looking to work closely with the international community." Stating that the UN had requested the government to establish an environment conducive to the talks, Shainee said that the government on multiple counts had extended invitations to all the political parties to attend the discussions without presenting prior conditions or the parties' individual interests. He said that the government had invited the parties twice after the Supreme Court's ruling on February 1 to release high-profile political prisoners, including former exiled President Mohamed Nasheed and reinstate expelled legislators.However, the only parties that had agreed to the talks unconditionally were Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM), Maldives Development Alliance (MDA) and Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP), which make up the ruling coalition.All the opposition parties have refused the government's terms and presented multiple conditions, demanding the state to comply with them first, said Shainee."The international community had called for dialogue without any pre-conditions. The opposition needs to come to terms with that. No one goes to a dialogue with pre-conditions," he added.A 15-day state of Emergency was declared on February 5 after the surprise top court order. The order was, however, rescinded shortly after the declaration of the state of Emergency. On Tuesday, Yameen had got the Parliament contentiously extend the state of Emergency by another 30 days.--IANSsoni/hs

(This story was auto-published from a syndicated feed. No part of the story has been edited by The Quint.)

(This story was auto-published from a syndicated feed. No part of the story has been edited by The Quint.)

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