UK and Germany lift travel restrictions to the Maldives

The UK and Germany have lifted all travel restrictions to the Maldives, reports Sun Online.

Speaking to the press at Berlin’s ITB Fair, Tourism Minister Ahmed Adeeb said he had met with UK and German foreign office officials and the media, and had been able to assure safety for tourists in the Maldives.

“Our main message is that Maldives is a safe destination for tourists. We have given them this confidence. In the past three days, I met with senior officials and the media to give them this message and confidence. The results of it have been good. Because of it Germany has lifted travel advisory. So has the UK,” Adeeb told Sun Online.

The ITB Berlin Fair was held from March 7-11. The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) revised travel advice to the Maldives on March 8. The UK and Germany issued travel warnings to the capital Malé following the events of February 7, 2012.


Climate skepticism a “diabolical conspiracy” says Nasheed

President Mohamed Nasheed launched a vigorous assault on the current wave of climate change skepticism during his address at the Freie Universität in Berlin.

“In my mind there is a diabolical conspiracy to cloud the scientific evidence behind climate change,” he said. “The science is very clear and sorted, but there are vested interests trying to cloud the issue.”

The president was particularly critical of the hacked emails from the Climate Change Unit at the University of East Anglia, which he argued “make no material difference to the fact climate change is happening.”

“It is now so necessary to find out who distributed the emails, who hacked it, where they are placed, how the emails made the rounds, and how they became newspaper headlines. Where is the investigative journalism on the criminal element of it all?” he asked.

“And why are the emails such a big issue when there is no substance in them? I’ve read them all and they don’t add up. I believe there is a conspiracy, and I believe responsible journalists should think about who is behind this, who is this devil?”

Nasheed was also critical of the coverage surrounding inaccuracies in reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which consolidates much of the accepted climate change science.

“Any report can have factual errors but that does not make any substantial difference to the facts,” he said. “Even if one page of a 1000 page report [is problematic], you cannot then deny the other 999 pages.”

He accused the media of being complicit in the loss of momentum around climate change following the lacklustre Copenhagen Accord, claiming that continual reference to the email scandal and mistakes in the IPCC report in articles on climate change was “clouding the issue and creating doubt in the general public.”

“We have to get rid of the perception that there something wrong with the science, and we need to pick up the momentum we had at Copenhagen,” Nasheed urged.

“Icecaps are melting, sea levels are rising, the weather is unpredictable, and rain and fish do not appearing at the same time they used to. European friends tell me they have experienced the coldest winter in the last 20-25 years, and by summer I predict they will be saying they’ve had the hottest summer in the last 30 years. We should not doubt the science in front of us – please visit the Maldives and have a look what happening to our beaches, our coral reefs and our oceans. There is no doubt.”


President attends ‘Maldivian Night’ tourism event in Berlin

As part of his on-going European tour, President Mohamed Nasheed participated in Maldivian Night, a tourism event organised by the Maldives Tourism Promotion Board (MTPB) on Wednesday in Berlin.

The function was attended by major tour operators and the media. President Nasheed discussed the Maldivian tourism industry, saying that after a downturn in previous months, tourist arrivals were now picking up.

He said the private sector had done a lot of hard work to make the industry strong and resilient. He added that government wants to stay out of the tourism business and act as a regulator to facilitate its growth.

The president also launched a new tourism advertisement, made in association with the National Geographic Channel, which focuses on environmental preservation.


President Nasheed attends opening ceremony of ITB

President Mohamed Nasheed attended the official opening ceremony for the International Tourism Bourse (ITB) 2010 travel fair in Berlin on Tuesday night.

The ITB is the world’s leading travel trade show, with as many as 11,127 exhibitors gathering for this year’s show. Travel destinations, tour operators, booking systems, carriers, hotels and other service providers and suppliers were represented at the fair.

The Maldives Tourism Promotion Board (MTPB) and other tourism operators from the Maldives participated at the ITB.


President Nasheed meets German Chancellor Merkel

After his arrival in Berlin early yesterday morning, President Mohamed Nasheed met with German Chancellor Dr Angela Merkel yesterday at the Federal Chancellery.

President Nasheed was welcomed with military honours.

The meeting was focused on bilateral relations between the two countries and ways to enhance them.

President Nasheed thanked the German government and people for their support to the Maldives through the democratic reform process. He said he hoped Germany’s assistance would continue in helping to strengthen and consolidate democracy in the country.

The president also commended Chancellor Merkel for her role in helping reach an agreement at COP15 in Copenhagen last year.

Chancellor Merkel congratulated President Nasheed for the transition of democratic reform in the Maldives.

The president and his delegation were given a guided tour of Berlin, which included a visit to Hohenscönhausen Memorial, a former political prison.