Maldives pres hits-back at opposition over party talks snub

Incumbent president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom on Wednesday hit-back at the opposition alliance over its decision to reject the government's invitation to sit-down for dialogue in an attempt to resolve the ongoing political turmoil in the country.

Maldives' opposition alliance presidential candidate Ibrahim Mohamed Solih the day before rejected the invitation insisting that the government continues to refuse conducive environment for genuine dialogue.

The government earlier this month had renewed the invitation for all party talks following Solih's selection to replace self-exiled former president Mohamed Nasheed who forfeited his presidential ticket for the upcoming presidential elections.

Speaking to reporters at his party's main camp in the capital Male, the veteran lawmaker said he had officially responded to the invitation asking the government to engage in dialogue with the leaders of the opposition parties.

Solih said there can never be a conducive environment for genuine dialogue until the government agrees to free jailed opposition leaders adding that any sit-down must be mediated by the international community.

Speaking during a ceremony held at Haa Alif Atoll Baarah island on Wednesday, president Yameen admitted to receiving Solih's response which included pre-conditions to release jailed leaders including Nasheed and former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom.

President Yameen insisted that the government cannot accept any pre-conditions and urged the opposition to sit-down with the government and work together to find solutions including the release of jailed leaders.