Dr. Shaheed calls to disclose all files related to Chagos dispute

Dr. Ahmed Shaheed. (File Photo/United Nations)

Former Foreign Minister Dr. Ahmed Shaheed has called to disclose all decisions taken with respect to Chagos Islands starting from 1982.

While the country remains divided over the border dispute – Dr. Shaheed, in a tweet on Tuesday, said disclosure of information by the government strengthens trust and encourages professional journalism.

In his tweet, Dr. Shaheed called to disclose all files maintained by the President’s Office, Foreign Ministry, Attorney General’s Office and Maldives’ diplomatic missions based in New York, United States and London, UK, with respect to Chagos Islands starting from 1982.

“This is an earnest request from President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and Parliament Speaker Mohamed Nasheed. It is a responsibility of state heads, journalists and universities to pave the path for citizens to weigh in on the debate with comprehensive and correct information,” he said.

Dr. Shaheed, in a previous statement, said Maldives’ policy with respect to Chagos Islands has been the recognition of Mauritius’ sovereignty over the territory.

He detailed that the bilateral talks held with Mauritius in 2010 were for the purpose of strengthening bilateral relations between the two nations rather than the delimitation of the conflicting Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). He stressed this has been the policy followed by the Maldivian government in 1983, 1986, 1997, 2002 and other years which followed.

ITLOS, on April 28th, concluded that the conflicting Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) between Mauritius and Maldives will be divided between the two using the equidistance formula as argued by Maldives in the case.

Thus, Maldives gains 47,232 square kilometers from the 95,563 square kilometers of maritime territory in dispute while Mauritius gains 45,331 square kilometers. 

The government has argued that Maldives loses no maritime territory in light of the ruling while the opposition claims Maldives is entitled to the entire 95,563 square kilometers of maritime territory in dispute.