Maldives applies to rejoin Commonwealth

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih on Friday sent a letter of intent to the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth stating the Maldives’ commitment to re-join the regional bloc.

Two days after the country's parliament gave the green light, president Solih in his letter to Patricia Scotland reiterated his government's determination to uphold and practice the principles enumerated in the Charter of the Commonwealth, and the Harare Declaration.

"He also emphasized that the Maldives’ interest in re-joining the Commonwealth stems from a deep conviction that the values and principles enshrined in the Commonwealth Charter are more vital than ever, for the maintenance of amicable relations between nations," president's office revealed in a statement.

President Solih further highlighted the government's belief in the values of democracy, good governance, human rights, gender equality and sustainable development in the Maldives, within the context of the needs of a Small Island Developing State, the statement read.

"Moreover, President Solih stated, that his Administration does not believe in the success of such endeavours whilst maintaining a policy of isolation from the outside world."

He further expressed the government's eagerness to utilise the country’s experiences as a Small Island Developing State that has recently undergone a peaceful transfer of power, to contribute to important global discussions encompassing such issues as democratic consolidation, and the dangers posed by environmental degradation and climate change.

Additionally, the President underscored the need for human resource development for the Maldives, to suffice the magnitude of the tasks ahead.

"In this regard, President Solih highlighted that the Maldives has greatly benefited from the Commonwealth in the past, as a result of the scholarship and sports opportunities provided to aspiring Maldivians, who, subsequent to their experiences abroad, return back to the country with newfound perspectives and technical expertise, and made important contributions to the betterment of the country."

Maldives left the Commonwealth in 2016 citing unfair and unjust treatment weeks after the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) – the enforcement mechanism of the Commonwealth – threatened to suspend Maldives from the council if effective steps were not taken to resolve the political crisis in the archipelago.

Rejoining the 52 member bloc remains a key pledge of Solih with plans to apply within 90 days from the day he was sworn in last month.