Maldives calls on Yemen’s president to resign

Minister of Foreign Affairs Ahmed Naseem has called on Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh to accept and implement the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) terms and leave office.

‘’The Minister was speaking against a backdrop of escalating violence and human rights abuses in Yemen following President Saleh’s refusal to cede power as per a transitional plan tabled by the GCC,’’ said the Foreign Ministry.

‘’Over thirty people have been killed in recent fighting fueled by frustration over the protracted issue of reform in Yemen. Protesters see Saleh as the key obstacle blocking real change in Yemen.’’

The ministry also said that on May 25 President Saleh had clarified that he would not leave office.

“The Maldives calls on President Saleh to stop reneging on earlier promises, to listen to the will of the people, and to put the country of Yemen above his own personal interests,” said Naseem.

“Because of his actions, President Saleh is directly responsible for the current situation, including the political impasse and the deteriorating human rights and humanitarian situation.”

“The Maldives urged President Saleh to follow through on his commitments to peacefully transfer power, and for the parties concerned to reach a consensus, leading to the early stabilisation of the situation. For that to happen, President Saleh must sign the GCC agreement and step down” the Foreign Ministry’s statement said.

The Ministry added that the Maldives stands ‘’firmly beside all those in Yemen who are calling for greater freedom and the full enjoyment of their human rights.’’

Naseem is currently in Bangladesh on an official trip, where he signed a memorandum of understating ‘’concerning placement of manpower’’ with the Bangladeshi Government.

The ministry said the MoU would help to protect the rights of Bangladeshi labors working in the Maldives.

The Immigration Department predicts that the number of expatriates working in the Maldives will reach 100,000 in June – a third of the country’s population.