Following a meeting with the government's ministerial delegation, the European Union External Action Service (EEAS) has reminded them it had previously referred to possible "targeted" measures if the country's political situation "does not improve".
The ministerial delegation departed to Brussels, Belgium on Monday for ‘high level diplomatic consultations’ with officials from EEAS. Unlike the United Nations Security Council, this delegation is headed by foreign minister Dr. Mohamed Asim, with foreign minister Dr. Mohamed Shainee and Legal Affairs Minister at the President's Office Azima Shakoor accompanying him.
Following the meeting, the European Union External Service issued a press release, noting that the EU officials that took part in the meeting, had addressed the "the continuing deterioration of democracy in the Maldives", noting that the Council of the European Union's conclusions on the Maldives situation, issued on February 26, still stands.
The statement noted that this "also refers to possible targeted measures if the situation does not improve", highlighting on the importance "of credible, transparent and inclusive presidential elections in the Maldives both for democracy in the country and for future relations between EU and the government of Maldives".
Further noting that it had conveyed "that the parliament and the judiciary should be enabled to return to their normal functioning in accordance with the Constitution and opposition parties should be enabled to perform their role in accordance with democratic standards", EEAS emphasized the importance of the government and leaders of the opposition "engaging in a genuine dialogue to address key democratic issues".
EEAS Deputy Secretary-General Christian Leffler, Deputy Managing Director for Asia and the Pacific Paola Pampaloni and Ambassador of the European Union to Sri Lanka and the Maldives Tung-Lai Margue represented the EU at the meeting.
Speaking to RaajjeMV prior to the meeting, Maldives Ambassador to the EU said that this is part of a series of consultations held between both parties annually, adding that the last consultation was held in the Maldives last January. Another meeting is to be held in October.
The EU had, following a visit by the Elections Follow-Up Mission in April, said that "current conditions in the Maldives ‘have to change so that the next elections are held in line with international obligations".