'Atoll sale speculations are flustering' says Faafu Atoll Council

  • Deputy Chair of the Faafu Atoll Council says they have received no information of speculated sale
  • Zahir says he does not believe the rumours are true
  • Former VP Ahmed Adeeb had reportedly conveyed the Saudi king's interest in 2014

K. Male' | Shan Anees | 22-February-2017 | Wednesday 20:57 | twitter | Local | 1,697

An aerial view of Faafu atoll -- Photo by: google

Deputy Chair of the Faafu atoll council, Umar Zahir, responded to speculations that the government intends to sell the atoll to Saudi Arabia on Wednesday, saying that the council has received no information of such an impending transaction.

He said the speculations have citizens extremely worried, with rumours of the sale being picked up in the media and social networks recently.

Zahir said he does not personally believe the government would go forth with such a ‘malicious’ transaction.

“There was some talk of this in 2014, while Adeeb was in office” Zahir explained, referring to former Vice President Ahmed Adeeb, now serving a jail sentence “Adeeb had told us that the Saudi royal family wanted to purchase the entire island but even then, he said the government had no intention to sell the atoll”.

Zahir added that Adeeb had said the Saudi kingdom’s sovereign himself would discuss this venture with the atoll’s residents.

The government had not discussed the issue with the council since.

Council chair Abdul Hameed told RaajjeMV that he could only make a comment after discussing it with the other council members.

While the government has remained silent over the heated speculations, President Abdulla Yameen had made comments that fuel it, during a visit to the atoll on January.

He told residents that the islands in the atoll and their populations were small, thus avenues for progress are few. He also said that the government has a ‘massive’ project for the atoll.

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