Member of Parliament for Mahibadhoo Constituency Abdulla Thoriq has motioned to the parliament to obtain the letter sent to the government of Mauritius’ by President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, accepting Mauritius’ claims over the sovereignty of Chagos Islands.
Chagos Islands shares a common Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) with the Maldives and Mauritius initiated a territorial case to the International Tribunal for the Laws of the Sea (ITLOS) against Maldives. During the ITLOS hearing, the Attorney General Riffath Ibrahim told the court that the President had expressed his acceptance of Mauritian claims of sovereignty over Chagos to the Mauritian Prime Minister in a letter, on August 22, this year.
In a letter sent to the Speaker of Parliament Mohamed Nasheed, MP Thoriq stated that Maldives has always stood against Mauritius on its claims of sovereignty over Chagos and suddenly changing a long-established stand will result in Maldives losing a majority of its EEZ.
Since the President's decision to support Mauritius acknowledged in the letter to Mauritius had the potential to alter the Maldivian territorial borders, Thoriq pleaded with the Speaker to acquire the letter in question and present it to the parliament for further speculation.
Spokesperson Miuvaan Mohamed stated regarding the President’s letter that publicizing correspondence between leaders of two nations is against the administrational conduct as it contains sensitive and confidential information.
The Maldives has always sided with England on the issue lodged at the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS).
Maldives voted against Mauritius in the vote taken by the UN in 2017 to lodge the complaint at ITLOS. Moreover, Maldives stood by England and voted against Mauritius in 2019 when the UN approved to maintain ICJ’s ruling to keep Chagos’ sovereignty with Mauritius.
Therefore, even the former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Qayoom has also called the government to disclose the contents of the letter sent by the president, on a whim, accepting Mauritius’ claims.