Maldives: Commonwealth

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 10th March 2017.

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Photo of Hugo Swire Hugo Swire Conservative, East Devon

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with the Commonwealth Secretariat on the issue of readmitting the Maldives into the Commonwealth.

Photo of Alok Sharma Alok Sharma The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

There have been no recent discussions with the Commonwealth Secretariat on the issue of readmitting the Maldives into the Commonwealth. The Maldives is free to reapply for membership should it wish to do so.

The UK is disappointed that the Maldives Government decided to withdraw from the Commonwealth. We believe in the Commonwealth and its commitment to improving the lives of people across all its member states. It is an organisation dedicated to developing free and democratic societies, and to promoting peace and prosperity.

We remain extremely concerned about governance and human rights in the Maldives, not least freedom of expression and association, judicial independence, the arbitrary detention of political figures and the possible re-introduction of the death penalty. I raised these concerns with Maldivian Foreign Minister Dr Asim at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on 28 February.

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