The Maldives Finance Minister, Ibrahim Ameer, is currently facing criticism and accusations of hypocrisy after it was revealed that he had criticized Saudi Arabia and its government in the past but is now seeking financial assistance from them.
Ameer, who was previously in opposition, had taken to Twitter to voice his scathing comments about the Saudi regime and its king. In one tweet, he asked, "Where does the Saudi regime fit? Human or Devil!" and accused them of spending millions of dollars to get Netanyahu elected. He also criticized Saudi Arabia for committing massacres in Yemen, saying, "Saudi Arabia cuts ties with Qatar saying they support terrorism then renews business ties with Israel." Additionally, he accused the former Maldives President Yameen of trying to sell the country to the Saudi king, stating, "President Yameen might sell the whole country to the King of Saudi Arabia."
Currently, Ameer and Chief of Staff Ali Zahir are in Saudi Arabia, reportedly meeting with high-profile royals in an attempt to secure financial support for the Maldives, as well as for President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih's 2023 campaign.
Ali Zahir, a Saudi-educated religious scholar, has since distanced himself from his religious identity since assuming the role of Chief of Staff. In fact, he has gone so far as to formally request not to be addressed as "Sheikh Ali Zahir." In the Maldives, individuals with religious education are often referred to as "sheikhs."
During the administration of former President Yameen, the King of Saudi Arabia planned to visit the Maldives, but Ameer and his political party, the MDP, staged protests in the capital. They accused the government of planning to sell an atoll to Saudi Arabia and even spread rumors about the spread of H1N1 in the Maldives. This concerted pressure ultimately led to the cancellation of the King's visit and a multi-billion dollar Faafu Atoll development project.
Ameer's past criticism of Saudi Arabia and its leadership has been called into question in light of his current efforts to secure financial assistance from them.