Politics and polls top the agenda for EU visit

Politics and polls top the agenda for EU visit
January 11 18:54 2018

The Maldives’ political situation and preparations for the presidential elections are on the agenda for a visiting delegation of top European Union officials.

The EU said the delegation will be in Maldives on Saturday for a three-day visit.

“The mission will be led by the European External Action Service (EEAS) Deputy Managing Director for Asia, Paola Pampaloni, who will be accompanied by the Head of the EU Delegation to the Maldives, Mr Tung-Laï Margue, and the EEAS Head of Division for South Asia, Mrs Caroline Vinot,” a statement said.

The delegation will meet government representatives, including ministers, the parliament speaker and the attorney general. EU officials will also meet opposition representatives and civil society organisations.

Last October the European parliament adopted a resolution calling on member states to consider imposing individual targeted sanctions over “the deteriorating political and human rights situation in the Maldives and the increasingly authoritarian rule of President Abdulla Yameen.”

The resolution called on Maldivian authorities to reform the judiciary, release political prisoners, and to guarantee the constitutional rights to freedom of speech and assembly.

Most MEPs observed the situation had worsened since the EU parliament passed a resolution in December 2015 urging member states to freeze assets and impose travel bans against top officials.

The government lashed out.

“The resolution is highly motivated by one-sided political rhetoric and contains inaccuracies, contradictions, misrepresentations and baseless allegations,” the foreign ministry said at the time.

Beyond politics and polls, EU officials will also discuss climate change and counter-terrorism.

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