The Government of the Maldives has gone back on its stand on the Chagos Island dispute and vote with Mauritius at the United Nations.

While the International Court of Justice has issued a legal recommendation in favour of Mauritius in its dispute with the United Kingdom over the islands, the Maldives has never before voted to implement the legal advice.

But at the hearing at the international tribunal on Thursday, Maldivian Attorney General Ibrahim Riffath announced that the Maldives has had a change of heart and that it would stand with its fellow island nation.

The Attorney General said President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih sent a letter to the Prime Minister of Mauritius last August, informing him of this decision.

Riffath further said that Mauritius has welcomed the decision by the Maldives and that the Maldives in return hopes that Mauritius withdraws its objection on widening Maldivian continental shelf by 200 nautical miles.

The Chagos islands south of Addu City in the Maldives is an island claimed by Mauritius but controlled largely by the United Kingdom.

The Maldives was one of the 6 nations that voted against a United National General Assembly resolution calling on the UK to handover the island to the Mauritians.