The commencement of flights by Israeli national airline El Al to the country will be “a Trojan horse for the Maldives,” warns controversial British politician George Galloway.
In a video message aired at the Adhaalath party national congress that concluded last night, the former MP said that he was “deeply shocked” by the government’s decision to authorise the operation of Israeli national carrier in the Maldives on December 13.
“At a time when Arab doors are closing on Israel as a result of the Arab revolution, the idea that the Maldives, an entirely Muslim country, would open the door for El Al, the Israeli national carrier, and bring the Israeli flag into their country, and bring the Mossad and all the attendants who will come with it, is just absurd to me,” said Galloway.
He added that Israeli flights would be “a Trojan horse for the Maldives.”
“You will be bringing Israel into your country at a time when most civilised people are trying to get Israel out of their country,” he continued.
“So I very much hope the people of the Maldives will rally behind the campaign to stop this infiltration of the country by this Zionist settler state. The blood of the Palestinian people for 63 or 64 years now is on this project and nobody should want to share in this blood.”
In April this year, the religious conservative Adhaalath party threatened to terminate its coalition agreement with the ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) in protest if Israeli flights are allowed to commence flights to the country.
Transport Minister Adil Saleem however said in June that the airline would allow Maldivians to visit Masjid-al-Aqsa in Jerusalem, the third holiest site for Muslims.
Adil Saleem noted that 500 Maldivians had visited Israel this year and authorising El Al to operate flights to the country would provide a cheaper option for pilgrims.
Official figures meanwhile revealed that 433 Israeli tourists visited the Maldives in 2004, followed by 758 in 2005; 569 in 2006; 838 in 2007; 1307 in 2008; 1588 in 2009 and 1380 in 2010.