Maldives govt. aims to avoid EU sanctions on political elites

Fisheries Minister Dr. Mohamed Shainee on Sunday has claimed the Maldives government will attempt to negotiate with European Union to stop them from placing selective sanctions on key political figures.

The EU adopted a framework for targeted sanctions including asset freeze and travel ban on key government officials over the worsening human rights and political situation in the archipelago.

Foreign Affairs Council during its sit-down in Brussels adopted the framework for targeted restrictive measures against persons and entities responsible for undermining the rule of law or obstructing an inclusive political solution in the Maldives as well as persons and entities responsible for serious human rights violations.

"This decision makes it possible, if the situation does not improve, to impose a travel ban and an asset freeze on relevant individuals and entities," a statement said.

Meanwhile opposition has criticized ruling party and Maldives government regarding EU's decision.

Fisheries Minister claimed local entrepreneurs were targeted with blackmail over EU's sanction list to extort money. Dr. Shainee claimed EU sanction list does not include any local businessman or political figure.

Dr. Shainee claimed he found success in holding dialogue with EU member countries, while he accused opposition of misleading facts regarding the island nation in front of international communities for political motives.

EU decided placing targeted sanctions after Maldives government refused to comply to its request of lifting the state of emergency earlier in February as well as arbitrarily arresting several dissenting political figures.