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Page added on May 23, 2010

Next SAARC summit to be held in Addu

Next SAARC summit to be held in Addu thumbnail

President Mohamed Nasheed has announced the 17th South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) summit will be held next year in the South Province.

During his weekly radio address last Friday on the Voice of Maldives, the president said the summit could take place in both Addu and Fuahmulah Atolls.

President Nasheed acknowledged it would take a lot of work and preparation to hold the summit in Maldives, but said he was “confident a successful summit could be held in the South Province.”

Press Secretary for the President’s Office, Mohamed Zuahir, confirmed the summit will be held in the Maldives next year, but said a final date has not been set yet. “We are looking at April 2011.”

He said there would be “huge development” in the Southern Province, noting there was already “road building projects” underway in the islands. He said a new conference centre would be built for the summit, as well as other facilities such as indoor halls.

Zuhair added the development projects for the summit will cost “upward of US$10 million.” He said the money will be partly donated by other SAARC countries and partly sponsored by the Maldivian government.

“It’s the first time a SAARC summit is being held south of the Equator,” Zuhair said, “and it will highlight the Southern Province and give us a very good name.”

Maldives was meant to hold this year’s summit, “but due to economic recession” among other things, it was cancelled and held in Thimphu, Bhutan.

“As a member country, it is also our responsibility [to hold the summit],” he said.

State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Ahmed Naseem, said holding the summit in the Southern Province “symbolises unity in the country.”

He said “there are quite a lot of people living in the Southern Province and not everything has to be held in Malé.”

He added there is already a lot of infrastructure in the province, so the cost will be feasible for the government.

Maldives was meant to hold this year’s summit, he noted, but it was cancelled due to “some difficulties.”

“It’s a regional thing,” he said, “every [SAARC] country holds the summit.”

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8 Comments on "Next SAARC summit to be held in Addu"

  1. Ahmed on Sun, 23rd May 2010 7:41 PM 

    This is a very constructive move by the government and shows that it is sincere about a meaningful decentralisation policy.

    More such high profile events should be held outside Male on a regular basis.

  2. wolf on Sun, 23rd May 2010 8:00 PM 

    This comes with a heavy expenditure with it. I am not sure we have yet cleared all the bills from the last SAARC summit. It brings little to the country. It would have been better if we haven’t had to ho9ld this in the maldives.

  3. ibrahim yasir on Mon, 24th May 2010 2:12 AM 

    Here goes the SAARC summit. The only reason why SAARC summit is held each time is to decide where should they hold the next summit. This time its us who has to spend the money. SAARC has one of the poorest countries in the world and one of the politically unstable countries of the world. So what exactly are we getting from these yearly held summits each time? The SAARC region is still the same as it has been 12 years ago.

  4. Ahmed Niyas on Mon, 24th May 2010 8:14 AM 

    He is trying to persuade us to vote him. Lets see the people of Addu? I’m sure we will not be persuade to his acts and on the other hand other islanders are very anxious to see the SAARC summit being held in Addu and Fuah Mulah.

  5. Mini on Mon, 24th May 2010 10:41 AM 

    Just another political stunt to fool the people – in time for the next island council election. Questions start popping into ma mind immediately:
    - Can these islands hold the SAARC Summit when they do not even have the facilities to hold an ordinary function?
    - From where is the government going to get funds?

    Anni knows very well that many people in the islands can be fooled this way…

  6. yaamyn on Mon, 24th May 2010 12:29 PM 

    “- Can these islands hold the SAARC Summit when they do not even have the facilities to hold an ordinary function?
    - From where is the government going to get funds?”

    I think the article has already answered the questions.

    a) A convention center and halls, etc. are to be built.

    b) The event’s being funded by the government and co-sponsored by the other SAARC nations.

    The point that a lot of people seem to be missing is that big events, summits, games, etc. automatically leads to a lot of investment in infrastructure in that region.

    Addu is the second urban center in the country – and it NEEDS roads, and convention centers and shops and whatever this summit will bring with it.

  7. Stewie on Mon, 24th May 2010 8:58 PM 

    agree with you yamyn, but i think ibrahim yasir also has a point. infact a strong point.

  8. Double A on Sat, 10th Sep 2011 8:43 PM 

    We don’t care for what some fools say.President Nasheed is the father of Maldives and he will continue to help the city.


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