Maldives seeks end to deadlock as US envoy arrives

Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed has offered talks with opposition rivals.

Colombo: Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed offered talks with his opposition rivals on Thursday to resolve a political deadlock in the troubled archipelago, as a top US official arrived to help find a solution.

"President Nasheed has said that the government is ready to hold talks with opposition parties to resolve the current political impasse," his office said in a statement.

Nasheed`s cabinet resigned en masse last month amid threats from the opposition to impeach them in Parliament. The cabinet was then re-appointed, but the ministers are yet to receive ratification by the legislature.

US Assistant Secretary of State Robert Blake arrived in the capital island Male today for a day of talks with the government, as well as opposition figures.

The government continues to hold key opposition lawmakers in custody for alleged vote-buying in Parliament, despite court orders for their release.

Parliament speaker Abdulla Shahid suspended Parliament sittings yesterday after opposition MPs demanded that lawmakers in custody be allowed to attend the assembly.

He said there had been moves by government and opposition parties in the last few days to find a way out of the "constitutional impasse".

"So let there be talks to iron out things before Parliament can resume," Shahid said before meeting Blake.


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