President Mohamed Nasheed met with Afghani President Hamid Karzai yesterday at the Afghanistan House in the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Village in Bhutan’s capital, Thimphu.
At the meeting, President Nasheed said SAARC’s position on climate change should benefit all the countries in the region.
He noted the importance of a common SAARC position on climate change in the international arena, and highlighted the importance of promoting trade in the region through the South Asian Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA).
President Karzai said Afghanistan was rich in water before, but due to climate change, the country was experiencing yearly droughts.
The presidents also discussed ways of handling terrorism and religious extremism in the region.
President Nasheed then met with Japanese Parliamentary Vice President and Minister for Foregin Affairs, Chinami Nishimura at the Maldives House in SAARC Village.
Nishimura spoke of the existing bilateral relations between the countries and ways to strengthen these ties. She congratulated President Nasheed on the democratic reform in the country, noting the process had accelerated under his leadership.
President Nasheed said Japanese assistance has been instrumental in helping the Maldives with its upcoming graduation from the list of the UN’s Least Developed Countries (LDC). He added the Japanese Prime Minister, Yukio Hatoyama, was one of the few leaders who supported the Maldives during Copenhagen climate change summit.
President Nasheed sought Japanese assistance in developing the fisheries industry in the Maldives and to undertake a study for the reasons of decline in fishing.