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.
1 killed, 2 injured in Dhading truck mishap
DHADING — One person was killed while two other seriously injured when a truck fell from Hugdi Khola Bridge in Rorang-10, Benighat along the Prithvi Highway on Wednesday.
The truck (Na 5 Kha 1568) en-route to Chitwan from Kathmandu fell off the bridge to Hugdi Khola (river) on Wednesday afternoon.
The deceased has been identified as 23-year-old Sher Bahadur Magar,23, of Madhya Bindu Municipality-10, according to police. Magar died on the course of treatment at a Malekhu-based hospital, informed Area Police Office, Gajuri.
Those injured in the incident are Manoj Ale 25, of Arunkhola, Nawalparasi and Megh Bahadur Gharti of Sitakganga Municipality in Arghakhanchi district have been sent to Kathmandu for further medical treatment.Follow @gorkhapost