Terribly disappointed with Commonwealth: Waheed

New Delhi: Maldives President Mohamed Waheed today said he was "terribly disappointed" with the Commonwealth but maintained that he was not in favour of leaving the 54-nation grouping. "I am terribly disappointed with the way Commonwealth has treated Maldives this time," 59-year-old Waheed said talking about Maldives` relationship with the bloc since the tumultuous regime change in his country in February.

Asked if Maldives was looking at leaving the grouping, Waheed in an interview to PTI said, "I don`t support the position that some people in Maldives have which is to withdraw from the Commonwealth. I don`t think that is the way to go. I think we need to be engaged". Talking about his disappointment, Waheed said he had set up the National Commission of Inquiry (NCI) to look into what had transpired on 7th February, when he took over following the resignation of then President Mohamed Nasheed who subsequently claimed he was forced to quit.

Waheed said Nasheed had not cooperated when Commission was formed. "And when he did that, many of his supporters also decided that the commission was not impartial and its integrity was questionable without actually checking how they were going on and functioning," Waheed said. He said that at this point the Commonwealth got into the issue and its Ministerial Action Group decided that "we have to change the Terms of Reference without even seeing them and the composition".

He said his government has been in discussion with the Commonwealth on this issue. "We have nothing to hide, I have nothing to hide. Therefore, we have agreed that we will agree on what is acceptable to Commonwealth and possibly an additional member on panel," he said, accusing the Commonwealth of "influencing" the process.

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