Maldives has assured Sri Lanka of strong bilateral relations in a bid to mend ties that had been strained as a result a series of diplomatic spats between the two countries.
Foreign minister Dhunya Maumoon told reporters on Tuesday that the Maldives and Sri Lanka has even now a very strong relationship. She highlighted that the Maldives has always provided any assistance requested by the Sri Lankan government.
“I want to assure [our Sri Lankan partners] that we’re still with Sri Lanka. We won’t do anything that may have an adverse effect on the relationship we’ve,” the minister said, during a press conference at her office in capital Male.
Relations between Maldives and Sri Lanka suffered a deep blow early this month as the South Asian neighbour accused the Maldives of using historically warm bilateral ties to crackdown on Maldivian political and social media activists.
In a statement, Sri Lanka’s external affairs ministry said Sri Lanka is deeply concerned about recent developments in the Maldives and events that have impacted on Sri Lanka, including the arrest of two Sri Lankan nationals in the Maldives and the questionable removal of a Maldivian social media activist who was in possession of a valid Sri Lankan visa. It is deeply disturbing that Sri Lanka, a country which has always maintained the closest friendly relations with the Maldives, is being used to initiate questionable action against political and social media activists, it added.
“Sri Lanka encourages the government of the Maldives to ensure that recent developments are not allowed to escalate into a source of regional instability,” the statement read.
The condemnation by Sri Lanka came a day after it summoned the Maldives top representative in the country over the arrest and subsequent repatriation of a suspect wanted in connection to a recent blast on a presidential speedboat.
Ahmed Ashraf, known by his social media moniter of Shumba Gong, is a self-declared supporter of the embattled former vice president Ahmed Adheeb Abdul Ghafoor. (Haveeru .com)
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