COLOMBO — The government of the Maldives said Tuesday it has decided to sever 40-year-old diplomatic ties with Iran, saying the nation’s policies in the Middle East are detrimental to peace and security in the region.
The Maldives foreign ministry said in a statement that peace in the Middle East is also linked to the island nation’s own peace, stability and security.
The decision by the tiny Indian Ocean archipelago nation, whose population of 341,000 is predominantly Sunni Muslim, reflects its increasing closeness to Sunni-led Saudi Arabia, the long-time rival of Shiite-dominated Iran.
Last year, Saudi Arabia opened an embassy in the Maldives and has offered cash grants to the government and started negotiations on investments.
The Islamic Summit held last month in Turkey called on Iran to pursue a policy based on the principle of “good neighborliness, non-interference in their domestic affairs, respect for their independence and territorial sovereignty, (and) resolving differences by peaceful means in accordance with OIC (Organization of Islamic Cooperation) and the UN Charters,” the foreign ministry statement said.
“The Maldives calls on Iran to show more commitment and tangible results in implementing the recommendations of the OIC,” it said.
Saudi Arabia severed diplomatic ties with Iran earlier this year after Iranians protesting the execution of a prominent Shiite cleric stormed Saudi diplomatic posts in Tehran and Mashhad.
PM congratulates Nepali national cricket team
KATHMANDU— Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has congratulated Nepali national cricket team for being able to clinch the International T20 series.
PM Oli in a tweet extended best wishes and congratulations saying he was very happy to know Nepal’s win over the UAE by 14 runs in the third match of the series.
Winning T20 series is another landmark success for Nepali cricket, he said, adding, “It is big achievement for Nepal’s cricket. I would like to heartily congratulate entire members of Nepali cricket squad”.