The National Security Committee has decided to summon five cabinet ministers, Vice President of Adhaalath Party Dr Mauroof Hussein and Chief of Defence Force Major General Moosa Ali Jaleel in a bid to determine the potential consequences for allowing an Israel airline to operate to the country.
The matter was submitted to the parliament by Adhaalath Party Vice President Dr Mauroof Hussein.
Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MP Mohamed Nazim, who is also a member of the National Security Committee, confirmed the summonses to Minivan News.
‘’The Chair of the committee will decide a date to summon them, it has not been decided yet,’’ Nazim said. ‘’They will be summoned and questioned about the issue.’’
MDP MP Mohamed Riyaz refused to comment on the matter while DRP MP Ahmed Mahlouf did not respond to calls at time of press.
During yesterday’s meeting MPs also reviewed the matter of the ‘silent’ protest for religious tolerance held on Human Rights Day on December 10, and the planned protest due to be conducted next Friday to ‘protect Islam’ in the country.
In May this year Israel’s national carrier El Al formally applied to the Ministry of Civil Aviation to begin flying to the Maldives from December.
Later, Adhaalath Party severed its coalition agreement with the ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) in September, soon after the Transport Ministry granted a licence to Israeli flag carrier El Al to begin operations to Maldives.
Recently the Adhaalath Party sent a letter parliament’s national security committee which has begun debating whether to permit Israeli flights to land in the Maldives.
“If there is a terrorist attack in the Maldives due to the commencement of Zionist Israel’s flight operations to Maldives, the tourist arrival rates for the next 12 months will decline by 10-36 percent,” Adhaalath predicted in the letter, adding that the tourism industry would face a loss of US$200 million to US$1 billion. The party did not elaborate on how it reached the figures.
In the letter forwarded to the national security committee, which has an MDP majority, Adhaalath alleged that the Israeli flights are “targeted by the terrorists” and said that terrorist “eyes” would turn on Maldives if the operations commence, posing “serious threats to the national security”.
Transport Minister Adhil Saleem that time observed that opponents of allowing Israel to fly to the Maldives “don’t seem to have an issue with Israeli tourists coming to the Maldives and spending their money.”
His mandate as Transport Minister was to increase air, sea and cargo transport to and from all countries, Saleem said, “and if there is no specific legal exemption for Israel, I cannot treat it any differently as that would mean I was corrupt.”