Washington, Feb 21 (IANS) The US has urged Maldives to end a state of Emergency that has been in place in the country since the beginning of February.
"The US is disappointed with President Yameen Abdul Gayoom's decision on Tuesday to extend the state of Emergency, that was imposed on February 5 -- for another 30 days, the State Department said in a statement.
Washington also urged Gayoom to "uphold the rule of law, permit full and proper functioning of the Parliament and the judiciary, and restore constitutionally guaranteed rights of the people of Maldives".
The Maldivian President was also urged to respect his country's commitment to international human rights obligations.
The Indian Ocean nation has been caught in a deep political and institutional crisis following a Supreme Court ruling on February 1 that had ordered the retrial and immediate release of nine opposition leaders, including former exiled President Mohamed Nasheed, as well as the reinstatement of 12 opposition lawmakers.
Gayoom's government had initially said it would abide by the order but subsequently rejected it and declared a state of Emergency, claiming it had thwarted a coup attempt by former dictator Maumoon Abdul Gayoom and Chief Justice Abdulla Saeed, both of whom are in custody at the moment.