June 5, 2017. Male’: The Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) strongly condemns President Yameen’s decision to sever diplomatic relations with Qatar, a move that will damage the Maldives, and is clearly not in the national interest.
The Maldives Foreign Ministry announced the cessation of diplomatic relations with Qatar just hours after Saudi Arabia announced it had severed diplomatic relations with Qatar.
The break in diplomatic relations will likely hit the Maldives hard, with Maldivian businesses and businesspersons finding it difficult to trade with and visit Qatar. Any changes in air travel services between Qatar and the Maldives as a result of this move will cause huge disruption to the tourism sector.
The Maldives has traditionally enjoyed warm relations with Qatar, whose government and people have always been hospitable towards Maldivians. Qatar has always been a generous donor to the socio- economic development of the Maldives.
Similar to his decision to break ties with Iran and in leaving the Commonwealth in 2016, President Yameen’s decision to break 33 years’ of diplomatic ties with Qatar was taken unilaterally, without any regard for Maldivian public interest or opinion. The MDP is deeply concerned by President Yameen’s reckless foreign policy decisions, which appear to be increasingly dictated by Riyadh.
President Yameen’s short-sighted decision, will cause additional damage to the Maldives’ standing in the world, destabilise the Maldivian economy and further deter foreign investment. The MDP calls on President Yameen not to sell Maldivian foreign policy to the highest bidder just to further his personal interests.