Malé, Maldives – The Maldivian government has defended the change of stance on the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice on the legal consequences of the separation of the Chagos Archipelago from Mauritius – a controversial decision on Maldives’ part owing to a different, but related dispute about Chagos at the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS).
Speaking at a Press Conference, following public outcry and criticism regarding the current administration’s decision to jump ship, Spokesperson of the President’s Office Miuvan Mohamed denied any Indian influence behind the change in stance.
In particular, however, the administration’s swift denial regarding the matter is in response to former Attorney General – and likely the only expert of his repute in the country relating to the field – Dr. Mohamed Munawwar’s claims of Indian influence behind the sudden change in stance.
Detailing the comments on these claims, the government said that Maldives voting in favour of Mauritius in the UN General Assembly will have no impact on the arguments Maldives continues to make at ITLOS against Mauritius.
“This is Maldives’ own stand,” said Miuvan, adding that this decision will not negatively impact the country’s relationship with other countries, but would in fact strengthen any such ties.
He also said that the government has been proactive in providing the public with information relating to the matter, and that nothing has been kept in the dark.
“[B]ut if certain people make up stories about things that don’t even exist and say that [we’re] hiding things, then it might seem like that. But no such thing is happening,” Miuvan said.