US urges Maldives to accept foreign mediation

July 17, 2010 (AFP) – The United States on Saturday urged the Maldives to accept international offers of mediation to resolve a political crisis that has led to angry street demonstrations. Their intervention prompted Nasheed to reappoint his 13-member cabinet last Tuesday, a week after they resigned en masse.

But the mediation has done little to narrow the gap between the government and opposition parties, with the opposition vowing to bring down the Nasheed administration. A power struggle between President Mohamed Nasheed and the opposition-controlled parliament led to protests earlier in the week in which police said at least nine police officers and six civilians were hurt.

“We call on all sides to refrain from violence and to come together to resolve disagreements through dialogue,” the US embassy in Sri Lankan capital Colombo said.

“We urge all parties to accept international offers of mediation,” the statement added.

Nasheed, who swept to power in the country’s first democratic polls in 2008, has been locked in a power struggle with the opposition-controlled parliament, accusing it of stopping his administration from passing any legislation.

The embassy in C