Maldives quits Commonwealth: UK will continue to work with Male, says Boris Johnson?

Johnson said UK will continue to work with Maldives to ensure Male's stability.? Photograph:( Getty )

WION Male, Maldives Oct 14, 2016, 11.46 AM (IST) Umaima Rasheed Hussain

Britain's foreign secretary Boris Johnson on Thursday expressed UK's disappointment after Maldives announced its decision to leave the Commonwealth.

Johnson, however, said the UK will continue to work with the troubled island nation in the Indian Ocean.

"We believe in the Commonwealth and its commitment to improve the lives of people across all its member states. The Commonwealth is an organisation dedicated to developing free and democratic societies, and to promote peace and prosperity. And we regret that the Maldives has chosen to leave," Johnson said in a statement. 

"We will continue to work with the Maldives government to help strengthen democracy, particularly freedom of speech and the media and independence of the judiciary. The stability of the country must be central to what happens next," he said.

Maldives on Thursday decided to leave the Commonwealth, an intergovernmental organisation that now constitutes of 52 member states, mostly former British colonies. 

The Maldives government accused the Commonwealth of trying to interfere in its domestic issues ever since former president Mohamed Nasheed resigned in February 2012. Male also alleged that Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) and the Commonwealth Secretariat have treated the Maldives "unfairly".

Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) for the third time since 2012 had placed Maldives on CMAG's formal agenda, a step towards suspension or expulsion from the multilateral body. This comes at the CMAG's last meeting held in September on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York.