Joint Opposition says it will start dialogue with the government as soon as the ongoing, “unlawful” state of emergency is lifted, all those arrested under the state of emergency are released and the Supreme Court (SC) ruling issued on February 1 is implemented.
This was stated in a letter sent to President Abdulla Yameen on Saturday.
The letter stated that parties in the Joint Opposition would only participate in the all-party talks to seek a peaceful solution to the current political crisis only when the state of emergency is lifted, all those arrested under it are released, SC order is implemented and if government allows UN to act as a mediator.
It said that although the difference of opinion between the government and opposition parties is over the involvement of UN, the organization’s involvement is crucial to make the talks productive. It said that despite the presence of other issues, both sides may be able to come to an agreement through proximity talks.
Joint Opposition said that it also sent a letter to the UN Secretary General on Saturday requesting to clarify the Maldivian government’s stance on UN’s involvement in the talks. The letter highlighted that government’s stance remains unclear due to the contradictory statements made on the issue.
Expressing their hope that government may change its mind considering the extent to which the situation is changing, opposition parties advised President Yameen to think deeply about the situation before responding to the letter.
Citing the European Union Council’s resolution, warning of targeted measures against the Maldives if the government fails to release political prisoners and lift state of emergency, the letter said that the situation is worrying and that if government continues to be stubborn, EU will be forced to impose sanctions.
Joint Opposition said it has also decided to send a delegation to Washingtong D.C. and New York on March 12.