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Aust disappointed by Maldives decision

AAP logoAAP 15/10/2016 Rashida Yosufzai

The federal government says it is disappointed by the Maldives' decision to withdraw from the Commonwealth.

The small Indian Ocean nation is leaving after accusing the bloc of seeking to interfere in its domestic politics, saying it has been treated "unjustly and unfairly".

Its declaration on Thursday came weeks after the Commonwealth threatened the country with suspension if it failed to show progress in key democratic governance issues by next March.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop says the Commonwealth plays an important role in helping countries develop democracy, strengthen the rule of law and manage difficult political situations.

Australia believed the Commonwealth still had much to offer the Maldives, she said in a statement.

"Australia continues to encourage the Maldives to work with all parties toward a peaceful resolution of its current political circumstances," Ms Bishop said.

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