Gov't denies attempt to re-establish ties with Israel

The Maldives government has said it has made no attempts or held talks to establish relations with Israel.

Citing diplomatic sources, the Times of Israel reported that the Maldives would be the next country with which Israel establishes ties. However, in a short message sent to local media, the Maldives Foreign Ministry denied the reports and said no attempts had been made to establish ties with Israel and that no discussions had taken place between both countries.

The diplomatic ties established between Maldives and Israel during former Prime Minister Ibrahim Nasir's rule were severed during former President Maumoon Abdul Gayyoom's administration in 1974. The ties were suspended due to Israel's policies on the people and land of Palestine. During Gayyoom's 30-year-rule, he did not allow the opportunity to re-establish a relationship with Israel.

However, during former President Mohamed Nasheed's administration, the government then is believed to have attempted to re-establish ties with Israel, although the government has not admitted that any work was done on an official level. While some ministers of Nasheed's Cabinet traveled to Israel on several occasions, ties have remained severed to this day.

Under President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih's leadership, the current administration has condemned Israel's treatment of the Palestinian people and their policies on several occasions and spoken in defense of the Palestinian people. During the UN General Assembly, the Maldives raised concern on the matter and expressed solidarity with the Palestinian people.