Maldives committed to all-party talks says state foreign minister

Mar 02, 2012 - 05:05
  • MALE: President Dr. Mohamed Waheed Hassan Manik appoints Ms. Dhunya Maumoon as the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs on February 19, 2012. PHOTO/ PRESIDENT'S OFFICE

The state foreign minister said Friday her government was committed to all-party talks to resolve a political crisis in the country where the former president says he was ousted in a coup.

Responding to a call by UN chief Ban Ki-moon's call for dialogue, Dunya Maumoon told AFP: "That is definitely the commitment of the government."

However Maumoon accused elements in the Maldavian Democratic Party (MDP) of ousted president Mohamed Nasheed of stoking up violence.

Opposition MPs prevented the new president Mohamed Waheed from opening parliament on Thursday and violent protests erupted outside the building.

"This is really unacceptable. They are undermining the institution of parliament," said Maumoon.

"Currently all the parties except the MDP are working together in the national unity government and all have been committed to the all party talks," said Maumoon who was in Geneva for a meeting of the UN Human Rights Council.

The minister said it was "only recently" that the MDP joined the talks which was welcome as "it is only through dialogue and peaceful resolution that we can overcome the obstacles the country faces at present."

Nasheed says he was ousted by Waheed in a military-led coup on February 7 and called on its supporters to stage Thursday's demonstration against the new government.

Speaking at UN headquarters on Thursday, Ban expressed concern about the tensions on the archipelago and said they "must be resolved peacefully through a national process and on the basis of dialogue and consensus."

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