President of the Maldives, Abdulla Yameen, on Tuesday denied reports that his country had sold a small group of islands to Saudi Arabia amid growing protests against the sale.
“The administration categorically rebuts allegations that the atoll has been sold off to a foreign entity,” the presidency said in a statement.
It also said it was working with a range of international investors to implement its economic development agenda.
The Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), the main opposition group in the country, led protests against the decision.
Police clashed with protesters who demanded details of the deal with Saudi Arabia be revealed.
Saudi King Salman Bin Abdulaziz is on a three-week Asian tour and is due to visit the island state in the coming weeks.