Neighbourhood first: India bats for Maldives re-entry in Commonwealth

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Updated: July 12, 2019 12:40:22 PM

According to a statement issued by the Ministry of external Affairs, while congratulating the member countries on the 70th anniversary of Commonwealth, the minister said that India is on the path of fulfilling all the commitments made by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, at CHOGM last year.

Neighbourhood first, india maldives ties,Commonwealth group, S Jaishankar, Narendra Modi, CHOGM, Ibrahim Mohamed SolihThe support for Maldives’ return to the Commonwealth comes several weeks after Prime Minister Modi chose the island nation for his first overseas visit after being re-elected and meeting with President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih. (File photo: Twitter/@PIB_India)

India urges the Commonwealth to speed up the process of readmission of Maldives as a member country. The external affairs minister Dr S Jaishankar at the 19th Commonwealth Foreign Affairs Ministers Meeting in London called for fast tracking the process of re-admission of Maldives to the Commonwealth.

According to a statement issued by the Ministry of external Affairs, while congratulating the member countries on the 70th anniversary of Commonwealth, the minister said that India is on the path of fulfilling all the commitments made by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, at CHOGM last year.

The support for Maldives’ return to the Commonwealth comes several weeks after Prime Minister Modi chose the island nation for his first overseas visit after being re-elected and meeting with President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.

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In 2016, the former President Abdullah Yameen Maldives withdrew after the Commonwealth had expressed serious concern about the deteriorating human rights situation in the country. In 2018, after a massive victory in the elections President Solih had formally made a request to the Secretary-General Patricia Scotland for re-entering the Commonwealth family.

On the sidelines of the Commonwealth Ministerial meeting, the external affairs minister had bilateral discussions with his British counterpart, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt and the two sides agreed to bring India-UK bilateral relations into focus. Also, Jaishankar acknowledged the British government’s support for Modi’s initiative to build a global Coalition of Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI).

Procedure for re-joining the Commonwealth Group:

For re-joining the group, Maldives has to show and also prove that it complies with the fundamental values as has been laid out in the Commonwealth Charter. This is done through an informal assessment which is undertaken by the Secretary-General.

However, before any decision is taken, the Secretary-General has to have a consultation with other member countries. If after consultation there is total agreement amongst the members, then the Maldives will be invited to make a formal application. And will have to also present evidence of not only functioning democratic processes but also popular support for rejoining the Commonwealth.

Two other countries Gambia and Zimbabwe applied to re-join the organization this year.

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