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Updated: February 12, 2011 16:44 IST

Maldives welcomes Mubarak’s Departure, urges West to support democracy

R. K. Radhakrishnan
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President of Maldives Mohamed Nasheed. File photo
The Hindu President of Maldives Mohamed Nasheed. File photo

President of The Maldives Mohamed Nasheed has welcomed Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s decision to resign from office and reiterated his call on Western powers “not to fear, but to support, the forces of democracy in Muslim countries.”

In a statement issued by the President’s Office late on Thursday, he said that he was “delighted” over the developments. The President heralded the “wave of democratic change sweeping across the Arab world,” which, he hoped, would serve as a wake-up call to governments that abuse their citizens’ fundamental human rights.

“The right not to be tortured, the freedom to speak your mind, the ability to choose your own government… these liberties are not the preserve of Western nations but universal values to which everyone aspires,” the President said.

The President called for “swift democratic reforms” in Egypt, including the lifting of the State of Emergency and granting of fundamental political freedoms, culminating in free and fair, multi-party elections.

President Nasheed said it was imperative for the international community to support Egypt in its transition from autocracy to democracy.

He noted that the development of strong political parties, a free press and a vibrant civil society is central to building a successful and stable democracy.

Late last month, President Nasheed telephoned Egyptian opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei to pledge the Maldives’ support to the Egyptian pro-democracy movement.

“Maldivians have always loved freedom and thus Maldivians will always support those who are peacefully advocating for political freedom in Egypt,” the President told Mr. ElBaradei, according to the statement.

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