Last updated : 1 year ago

Press conference by Foreign Minister, Attorney General


The following is the live coverage of a special press conference held by Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid and Attorney General Ibrahim Riffath. 

The press conference is being held at a period of time the government has decided to vote in favor of the resolution in UN General Assembly, in a shift in policy, to recognize the sovereign power of Mauritius over Chagos Islands, a region that overlaps with Maldives' exclusive economic zone. 


End of the press conference


Foreign Minister Shahid said that the letter sent by the president to Mauritius can be obtained in line with the relevant procedures.  


As per my information, the former administration, President Yameen's administration, had brought amendments and alterations to the Maldivian constitution to sell parts of Maldives. Nevertheless, one of the first priorities in our administration by President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih was to amend the laws to disallow the opportunity to sell parts of Maldives to anyone.

Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid


Foreign Minister Shahid stressed that the President's letter does not state anything will be done in return for Mauritius with respect to voting in favor of the nation in connection to the country's sovereignty over Chagos. 


AG Riffath said that the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) is not a tribunal that comprises of experts with respect to continental shelf claims. He added that the United Nations had a specific commission for the issue, under which there is a body that carries out scientific assessments. 


United Nations Convention on the Law of Sea allows the opportunity for each nation to claim continental shelf, within a stipulated time period specified in the convention. The normal practice is 10 years. As per our information, Mauritius ratified, and began following the Convention on November 4, 1994. The time period stipulated in the Convention counted from this date, has already expired. Therewith, it cannot state that Mauritius has the right to file a continental shelf claim in light of international laws.

Attorney General Ibrahim Raffath


The current administration has not altered anything with respect to the issues of the boundary dispute, and Maldivian sovereignty of Chagos.

Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid


The letter by the President read that if such a resolution shall again be submitted to UN General Assembly, the Maldivian government will not vote against it, including the reasons for the stance, which is Maldives' longstanding support for decolonization of islands.

Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid


The current allegations claiming contradiction in the acts of Maldives, and a shift in policy based on the letter sent by the President are brewed to obscure the truth when no such shift has taken place.

Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid


Foreign Minister Shahid explained that the Maldivian government, after voting against Mauritius at UN General Assembly in 2019, had explained the decision through an 'explanation of vote'. In this regard, Minister Shahid said that it was explained Maldives made the vote, not, with respect to the question of Chagos' independence. 



Maldivian sovereignty over Chagos archipelago to the south of us has never been claimed even during the debates of 1997's constitution, and ultimately when the constitution was passed and ratified.

Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid


Foreign Minister Shahid described claims alleging Chagos Islands to be a part of Maldivian territory as baseless, citing lack of documentation detailing the same since the era of King Hassan IX. 


Press conference commences