Male, March 2 (IANS) The 54-member Commonwealth of Nations Friday appointed Donald McKinnon as its special envoy to the Maldives.
McKinnon will "encourage inclusive agreement among political leaders, promote consolidation of democratic culture and institutions and Commonwealth values", Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma said.
His appointment was decided at the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) meeting in London last week, the Haveeru Daily reported. McKinnon is a former Commonwealth secretary-general.
The CMAG has suspended the Maldives from its membership until an independent and impartial investigation of the recent political unrest is completed.
Then president Mohamed Nasheed was forced to resign Feb 7 in the wake of widespread opposition protests. Then vice president Mohamed Waheed Hassan had succeeded him.
"These are very serious times for Maldives. Cooperation and a shared sense of national interest are required, as well as restraint," Sharma said after McKinnon''s appointment.
"The Commonwealth at large is fully committed to assisting Maldives," he said.
Maldives President Mohamed Waheed Hassan Friday announced a probe into the political unrest that swept the country. The turmoil between Jan 14 and Feb 8 in the country forced the then president Mohamed Nasheed to resign.