The Maldives have suspended all relations with Israel – including a ban on all Israeli products – because of the “atrocities committed against the people of Palestine.”
Last week President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih said via Twitter that the people of Maldives “stand in solidarity with Palestine.”
The spokesperson to the President, Mohamed Mabrook Azeez, added that the stance of Maldives was clear. “We stand against injustice and in solidarity with the Palestinian people’s struggle to secure their inalienable right to statehood,” Mabrook said.
He further said all relations between Maldives and Israel were now suspended, including the import of Israeli products.
Importing most Israeli products have been banned in Maldives since 2014. Only special medical products could be imported, and that required a special permit.
During the recent conflict in Palestine the Maldivian public showed their support for the Palestinian cause by using the colours of the Palestinian flag all over the island nation.
The public outcry to ban Israeli tourists from Maldives has also increased. An emergency motion was submitted to the Parliament by opposition party Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) member, Ahmed Shiyam, calling to ban Israeli tourists.
The Maldives established diplomatic relations with Israel in 1965 when Israel was third state to recognise Maldives. But Maldives suspended the ties in 1974.
In 2009, under President Mohamed Nasheed, Maldives signed cooperation agreements with Israel on tourism, health, education, and culture. And in 2010, the Israeli government sent a team of eye doctors to treat patients and train local medical personnel in Maldives.
In May 2011, the Maldives’s then-foreign minister, Ahmed Naseem, became the first top official from the Maldives to visit Israel. However, the renewed relationship did not develop into full diplomatic relations.
But in July 2018, under president Abdulla Yameen, Maldives terminated the cooperation agreements with Israel.