March 5, 2013 - Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird issued the following statement:
“I am deeply concerned by the arrest of former Maldivian president Mohamed Nasheed just days after he left the safety of the Indian high commission in Malé.
“This violates the clear commitments made by the current president, Mohammed Waheed, at Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group meetings in New York City last September. It also violates key Commonwealth values and principles and directly threatens the prospect of fair and inclusive elections in the Maldives this fall.
“Canada calls on President Waheed to release the former president and to guarantee his safety while also committing to free and fair elections. We continue to encourage Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma to engage fully in defence of Commonwealth principles in the Maldives.
“These developments of serious concern reaffirm the need to maintain the situation in the Maldives on the agenda of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group, which will have its next formal meeting in London in April.”
- 30 -
For further information, media representatives may contact:
Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
Follow us on Twitter: @DFAIT_MAECI