The Maldives opposition is celebrating foreign threats of sanctions as if it were an Eid holiday, President Abdulla Yameen said Wednesday, his first direct response to the European Union approving targeted measures on government officials over the worsening rights and political situation.
Yameen, who made the remarks while visiting Dhidhdhoo, in Haa Alifu atoll, said the opposition was celebrating after welcoming foreign influence over the Maldives’ independence and sovereignty.
“Today, who is celebrating, with deafening applause, an Eid, after foreigners decided to influence or decided to introduce sanctions against us? Who are they? Is that wanting what is best for the country?” he asked.
On Monday the EU decided to adopt a framework for the introduction of targeted sanctions against senior government officials “making it possible, if the situation does not improve, to impose a travel ban and asset freeze on relevant individuals and entities.”
The targeted restrictive measures will be taken against people responsible for “undermining the rule of law or obstructing an inclusive political solution and serious human rights violations,” read a press release.
Yameen said his opponents welcomed foreign influence because of their selfishness.
“If they are loyal to the country, they will not criticize the country in foreign [countries]. They will not try to harm the country. They will not give foreigners the opportunity to meddle in domestic affairs. These are not the characteristics of people who want the best for the country.”