Will work to recover the lost sea territory: Qasim

Leader of Jumhooree Party, Chairman and founder of Villa Group and Member of Maamigili Constituency, Qasim Ibrahim | Photo: TheEdition

Jumhooree Party leader Qasim Ibrahim has said that the maritime boundary dispute between Maldives and Mauritius has ended to the detriment of Maldives and that he will do everything possible to recover the area.

After considering whether the Blenheim reef, visible only in low tide, could be considered as a base point for drawing the equidistant line, ITLOS decided that Mauritius’ proposal was unacceptable. ITLOS’ special chamber has also decided not to consider any point from Blenheim Reef in drawing the equidistance line.

“A large area of 200 nautical miles that was available to the Maldives for economic gain has been lost with the ITLOS ruling,” he tweeted.

The reason, he said, is that the government has suddenly changed its long-standing policy in favor of Mauritius. The letter sent by President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih to the Prime Minister of Mauritius played a major role, he said.

He said he would not support any decision that would deprive the people of Maldives of a single inch of its territory.

“We are out to study whether there is any way to regain the sea area lost to the people of Maldives and work sincerely with the people,” he said.

While the government has defended the win at the ITLOS saying that Maldives’ acquisition of most of the disputed territory is a victory, PPM, MNP and MRM have expressed their disapproval of the decision.

Speaker of Parliament and President of the ruling Maldivian Democratic Party, Mohamed Nasheed had also tweeted saying that Maldives should not accept judgement by International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) ruling stating that Maldives should get a larger share of the disputed waters between Maldives and Mauritius.

In messages to the Parliament’s WhatsApp group, Nasheed also said the judgement of International Tribunal for the Law of the Seas (ITLOS) will result in the loss of about 94,000 square kilometers of the country’s territory.

ITLOS supported the Maldives’ stance while concluding the dispute between the Maldives and Mauritius on the overlapping maritime boundary issue. The verdict favoured the Maldives in its claim, according 47232 sq kilometres – the larger portion of the overlapping area- to the Maldives.