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Summary: 27 September 2007, Brussels – The European Union fully supports a process of democratic reform in the Maldives. The reform agenda promoted by the government since 2004 has produced a number of necessary steps towards a modern democratic system. With various challenges still to overcome, it must now stay on track.
The EU takes note of the referendum held on 18 August 2007 to determine the preferred system of government in the Maldives. The EU welcomes the reports of international observers, which suggest that the result of the referendum offers a fair reflection of public opinion on this question.
It is important that efforts now continue to accelerate implementation of the reform process, and that preparations continue for the general elections planned for 2008. These should be free, fair and inclusive, so that the people of the Maldives may have a chance to choose a leader for the future. In this respect, the completion of the Constitutional reform by 30 November 2007 is essential. The EU urges all concerned parties to actively work on this process.
The EU welcomes the constructive role played by the Commonwealth Secretariat through its practical support to the democratic reform process in the Maldives.
The EU will continue to follow developments in the Maldives over the coming months.
The Candidate Countries Turkey, Croatia* and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, and the EFTA countries Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, members of the European Economic Area, as well as Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia align themselves with this declaration.
* Croatia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.