24th October 2017

Sir Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the strength of the UK's relationship with the Maldives; what the objectives are of the Government's policies on the Maldives; and if he will make a statement.

Mark Field, Minister of State for Asia and the Pacific at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office: The British Government maintains cooperative bilateral relations with the Maldives in order to promote our mutual security and prosperity, and to assist the many British tourists who visit the Maldives every year.

We remain concerned and have made repeated representations during recent weeks about governance and human rights in the Maldives, including freedom of expression and association, judicial independence, the arbitrary detention of political figures and the possible re-introduction of the death penalty.

The UK is disappointed that the ​Maldives Government decided to withdraw from the Commonwealth last year. We believe in the Commonwealth and its commitment to improving the lives of people across all its member states.

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