Top US diplomat Blake to visit Maldives on Wednesday

Ali Naafiz, Colombo, Sri Lanka, Haveeru Online
Sep 08, 2012 - 01:32 1 comment
  • Robert Blake, US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs, addresses journalists in Male on February 11, 2012. HAVEERU PHOTO/ IBRAHIM FAID

A top US diplomat will visit the Maldives on Wednesday on the first official visit by a foreign delegate since last week's dismissal of claims that the power transfer in February was a coup.

The US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Robert Blake is scheduled to meet with President Mohamed Waheed and former President Mohamed Nasheed.

"He will express US support for all Maldivian parties charting a way forward that respects Maldivian democratic institutions, the rule of law and the will of the Maldivian people," a statement issued by the state department read.

On his one-day visit, the former US Ambassador to Sri Lanka and Maldives will also hold a roundtable with civil society leaders and give a press conference at the American Centre in Male.

The announcement comes a week after the US welcomed the findings of the Commonwealth-backed Commission of National Inquiry (CoNI) and urged all parties to respect the report, which ruled out claims that a coup forced Mohamed Nasheed from the presidency on February 7.

Blake also visited the Maldives in late February to help resolve the political tensions that sparked following Nasheed's resignation.

The US was among the first to recognise the new coalition government led by Nasheed's vice president, Dr Waheed.

Blake's visit to Maldives is part of a five-day tour of some South Asian countries, including Sri Lanka and Nepal.

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