President meets with leaders of SAARC countries attending the 16th SAARC Summit

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

President Mohamed Nasheed has today met with Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal of Nepal, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina of Bangladesh, and President Mahinada Rajapakasa of Sri Lanka, who are visiting Bhutan to attend the Sixteenth SAARC Summit.

Main area of discussion during the meetings held separately was climate change. President Nasheed rallied support of all three leaders for a common position from all SAARC member countries at the global climate negotiations.

In addition, discussions were also focused on making this year’s SAARC Summit more effective in delivering concrete results, and expanding SAARC activities in other areas. The President also discussed with the leaders the bilateral relations that exist between the Maldives and their respective countries.

Meeting with the Prime Minister Nepal of Nepal was held this afternoon at the “Maldives House” in SAARC Village, where all the leaders attending the Summit are staying.

During the meeting, Prime Minister Nepal informed the President on the implications of climate change on Nepal and the measures being taken to address the issue in the country. He also said, while there was potential for renewable energy projects in Nepal, the biggest obstacle to attracting investments was the internal conflicts.

Speaking on the issues of internal conflicts, President Nasheed said the best strategy to resolve these conflicts would be to make more opportunities available in the deprived areas, as poverty and deprivation were main reasons for conflict.

President Nasheed met with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina of Bangladesh this evening at the “Maldives House”.
At the meeting, in addition to other areas of discussions, President Nasheed elaborated on the Maldives’ national health insurance scheme and sought Bangladesh’s expertise and knowledge to further strengthen the scheme.

President Nasheed concluded his meetings with regional leaders for today with a meeting with the President Mahinda Rajapaksa of Sri Lanka, which was held at the “Sri Lanka House” in the SAARC Village.

Discussions during the meeting were especially focused on strengthening cooperation between the Maldives and Sri Lanka in the area of fisheries. President Nasheed also spoke on the importance of a more convenient transport network between SAARC member countries, particularly between the Maldives, Sri Lanka and India.

President Rajapaksa briefed President Nasheed on the current situation in Sri Lanka’s political climate.

In all the meetings, President Nasheed was accompanied by Special Envoy of the President Ibrahim Hussain Zaki, Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr Ahmed Shaheed, and Maldivian High Commissioner to India Abdul Aziz Yoosuf.

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