US Ambassador to Maldives and Sri Lanka Patricia A. Butenis has stressed that US would not order any government to take specific actions, and pledged to extend cooperation to the government in power.
Speaking during a press conference held at the airport prior to her departure from Maldives, Butenis claimed that the US has always monitored the political situation in the Maldives and expressed the desire of her country to witness the Maldives establishing peace, stability and following the path of democratic principles.
To that end, she called on all interlocutors to resolve the present political strife through dialogue.
While referring to her respective meetings with the former Presidents Mohamed Nasheed and Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, Butenis relayed her request to the two former heads of state to facilitate the way to move forward with the All Party Roadmap Talks.
In reference to the ongoing opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) protests vowing to continue with demonstrations until the government is overthrown, the US Ambassador stressed that everyone had the right to peaceful protest and called on all relevant authorities not to stymie or violate that right.
She further called on Police and media to behave professionally while carrying out their respective, crucial functions.
Butenis, departing from her post as Ambassador to Maldives and Sri Lanka next month highlighted that institutions were in place for people who are unjustly arrested or detained to file complaints despite questions raised by some over its impartiality and expressed hope that such people would be able obtain justice from the existing institutions. She called on the government to take all measures necessary to ensure that the rights of the people are protected.
US Ambassador that once the investigation of the Commission of National Inquiry (CNI) set up to probe the circumstances surrounding the transfer of power on February 7 is complete, clarity on the true events surrounding the regime change would be provided. The outcome of the report would ascertain the date of the next presidential election, she added.
During the visit, she had also travelled to Haa Alif Atoll Dhihdhoo to inspect the USD7 million (MVR108 million) USAID project to help the local residents to cope with the impact of climate change.
She further assured the help of the US in projects undertaken to combat climate change and revealed a USD500,000 (MVR7.7 million) program to provide technical support to ensure the next presidential elections meet international standards that would help local institutions to conduct election monitoring.
In addition, US has pledged USD20,000 (MVR308,400) to help reconstitute pre-Islamic sculptures that had been destroyed by vandals during the attack on the National Museum on February 7.