President Nasheed meets SAARC country leaders

President Mohamed Nasheed arrived yesterday in the Kingdom of Bhutan for the 16th South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Summit, being held today and tomorrow in the capital Thimphu.

President Nasheed met with Prime Minister of Nepal, Madhav Kumar in the Maldives House in SAARC Village, where Prime Minister Kumar told President Nasheed of climate change in his country and the measures being taken against it.

He said there was potential for developing renewable energy sources in Nepal, but said the biggest obstacle to attracting investment is the internal conflict in the country. President Nasheed said the best strategy to resolve the internal conflicts was making more opportunities available for the people, as poverty and depravation were the main reasons for conflict.

The president then met with Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina, where they discussed the Maldives’ national health insurance scheme. President Nasheed sought Prime Minister Hasina’s expertise and knowledge to strengthen the scheme.

He then met President of Sri Lanka, Mahinda Rajapaksa at the Sri Lanka house. They focused mainly on strengthening cooperation in the area of fisheries.

President Nasheed also mentioned the importance of a more convenient transport network between SAARC countries, particularly Maldives, Sri Lanka and India.

This year’s theme is “Towards a Green and Happy South Asia.” In all three meetings, President Nasheed focused mainly on climate change issues. He gathered support from the three leaders for a common position during the climate negotiations.


President Nasheed departs to Bhutan for SAARC summit

President Mohamed Nasheed and First Lady Laila Ali departed on an official visit to Bhutan yesterday morning to attend the 16th South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Summit.

The Summit of Heads of State and Heads of the Government of SAARC countries will be held in Thimphu, Bhutan on 28 and 29 April.

President Nasheed will also meet other SAARC country leaders to discuss bilateral relations and issues of regional interest.

Before his departure at the official jetty, President Nasheed said SAARC needed to play a more active role in addressing regional issues. He added he would work with other leaders of SAARC to strengthen and expand the role of the organisation in the region.

After their visit to Bhutan, the president and first lady will be going to China on an official visit start 1 May.


President receives invitation to SAARC summit

President Nasheed has received an invitation to the 16th South Asian Summit for Region Cooperation (SAARC) to be held in Bhutan.

The letter of invitation was presented to the president by the Bhutanese Prime Minister, Jigme Thinley.

President Nasheed said that the SAARC summit should be ‘result orientated’, and that greater cooperation among member countries was needed.