SAARC foreign ministers arrive for summit

Foreign ministers of SAARC nations have arrived in Addu City for the 34th working session of the SAARC Council of Ministers on Wednesday.

Foreign ministers of all eight SAARC countries, with the exception of the Indian and Bangladeshi ministers who are set to arrive tomorrow afternoon, are due to arrive in Gan this evening.

According to the official SAARC website, the foreign minister’s meeting will focus on establishing common positions on issues ranging from communications, transport, climate change and good governance before the main summit with heads of state and government on November 10-11.

A new report on the Rights of the Child by UNICEF Regional Director Daniel Toole will also be launched at Wednesday’s meeting, which will conclude in the afternoon with a press briefing by the Chairperson of the Council of Ministers.

“Addu City is in the final stages of preparations for the SAARC Summit, which will be officially inaugurated at a ceremony on Thursday afternoon. A new VIP terminal has been constructed at Gan International Airport along with a VIP harbor for visiting dignitaries. Dhoogas in Gan has been converted into a 50 bed hotel complex, renamed Gan Island Resort. A State Banquet Hall has been built in Hulhumeedhoo and the Addu link road has been resurfaced,” reads a news update on the official website.

“Neighboring Fuvahmulah, which plays host to the SAARC leaders’ spouse programme, has seen a brand new airport built for the occasion, as well as a cultural village showcasing the Maldives’ rich history.

Addu City and Fuvahmulah are expected to receive over 5,000 visitors for the SAARC Summit.”