EU drops sanctions threat against Maldives

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Luxembourg, Jun 17 : The European Union on Monday dropped the threat of sanctions against the Maldives, saying the political situation had improved in the Indian Ocean archipelago since President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih’s election.

The bloc introduced a legal framework to allow it to impose restrictions on Maldivian people and entities in July last year in response to political turmoil that erupted when the then-president Abdulla Yameen jailed or exiled all his main opponents.

Autocratic strongman Yameen was dumped in a shock election defeat in September under a cloud of corruption allegations, with Solih taking over and pledging an end to graft.

The sanctions framework was never used and on Monday, EU foreign ministers meeting in Luxembourg formally revoked it.

“Since the inauguration of President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih’s administration in November 2018, the political situation has improved,” the European Council, which groups the 28 member states, said in a statement.

“The government confirmed its firm commitment to consolidate democracy, ensure good governance, and promote respect for human rights during the fourth annual policy dialogue between the Maldives and the EU which was held on 11 March 2019.”

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