Gayoom attends Saudi Crown Prince funeral as President Waheed’s Special Envoy

Former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom attended the state funeral of Saudi Crown Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz on Sunday as the Special Envoy of President Dr Mohamed Waheed Hassan Manik.

According to the Foreign Ministry, former President Gayoom attended the funeral at the Masjid al-Haram in the holy city of Mecca and expressed condolences on behalf of the government and people of the Maldives.

“During his stay in Saudi Arabia, His Excellency Maumoon Abdul Gayoom met with His Majesty King of Saudi Arabia Khadim Al-Haramain Al-Sharifain Al-Malek Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud and conveyed to him sincere regards and best wishes from Maldives President His Excellency Dr. Mohamed Waheed,” reads a statement by the Foreign Ministry.

Following the contentious transfer of power on February 7, former President Gayoom’s daughter, Dhunya Maumoon, was appointed State Minister for Foreign Affairs.

Gayoom was visiting Saudi Arabia to address the Constituent Council of the Muslim World League earlier this month, where he called for assistance from Islamic Arab countries in developing education and other services in the Maldives, as well to protect the country’s faith by “groups” he alleged are trying to weaken it.

The former president reportedly claimed that the present economic downturn, a loss of peace and order in the country and efforts “by groups of people to weaken people’s Islamic faith”, were among the most pressing challenges presently facing the Maldives.