President Mohamed Nasheed has this morning departed on an official visit to Bhutan to attend the Sixteenth SAARC Summit. President Nasheed is also accompanied by First Lady Laila Ali.

The Sixteenth Summit of the Heads of State and Heads of the Government of members of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation will be held from 28 to 29 April in Thimphu, Bhutan.

While attending the Summit, President Nasheed will meet with leaders of other SAARC member countries on the sidelines of the Summit to discuss the Maldives’ relations with their countries and other important issues of regional interest.

Speaking to the press at Male’ Official Jetty, before departure this morning, President Nasheed noted that SAARC needed to play a more active role in addressing the regional issues. He said during the Summit, he would work with other leaders of SAARC to further strengthen and expand the role of the organisation within the region.

After concluding his visit to Bhutan, President Nasheed and First Lady Laila Ali will begin a state visit to China, on 1 May.