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.