Maldives Bans Israeli Visitors

Maldives Bans Israeli Visitors
Maldives Bans Israeli Visitors
Written by Harry Johnson

Last year, the Indian Ocean archipelago, renowned for its pristine white sand beaches, stunning turquoise lagoons, and opulent resorts, welcomed nearly 11,000 visitors from Israel, constituting approximately 0.6% of the overall tourist influx.

The Maldives, an archipelagic state in South Asia in the Indian Ocean widely popular with tourists, has declared that individuals holding Israeli passports will no longer be permitted to visit the country, citing the ongoing conflict in Gaza as the reason behind this decision. This small, predominantly Muslim island nation, has been a favored vacation spot for many holidaymakers from Israel.

Last year, the Indian Ocean archipelago, renowned for its pristine white sand beaches, stunning turquoise lagoons, and opulent resorts, welcomed nearly 11,000 visitors from Israel, constituting approximately 0.6% of the overall tourist influx. However, this year has witnessed a significant decline of over 80% in the number of Israeli tourists visiting the destination.

According to a statement posted on the president’s official website, President Mohamed Muizzu has taken the decision to enforce a ban on Israeli passports, following a suggestion put forth by the Cabinet.

“The Cabinet decision includes amending necessary laws to prevent Israeli passport holders from entering the Maldives and establishing a Cabinet subcommittee to oversee these efforts,” the Maldives government statement said.

Maldives president’s office further stated that the country’s president has chosen to designate a special envoy to “evaluate Palestinian requirements, initiate a fundraising drive, and organize a countrywide rally in solidarity with Palestine.”

After the Maldives official declaration, an advisory was released by Israel’s Foreign Ministry, advising Israeli nationals to refrain from traveling to the Maldives and encouraging those currently in the country to leave.

“For Israeli citizens present in the Maldives, it is advisable to contemplate departure, as it may pose challenges for us to provide assistance in case of emergencies,” stated the Israeli Foreign Ministry yesterday.

A number of predominantly Muslim countries, such as Algeria, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan, have implemented travel restrictions on Israeli citizens following the terror attack on Israel by Palestinian terrorist group Hamas on October 7 of last year, that had triggered massive Israeli anti-terrorist operation in the Gaza Strip.

Israel and the Maldives have not had diplomatic relations since 1974 until the 1990s, when the Maldives finally lifted a travel ban, allowing Israeli tourists to visit the archipelago. In 2010, both nations made efforts to restore diplomatic ties, but unfortunately, these efforts were abandoned in 2012 after President Mohamed Nasheed was overthrown.

About the author

Harry Johnson

Harry Johnson has been the assignment editor for eTurboNews for mroe than 20 years. He lives in Honolulu, Hawaii, and is originally from Europe. He enjoys writing and covering the news.

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