President Nasheed has, this evening, departed on a visit to Sweden, to receive the Anna Lindh Prize 2009.

In a press release, the Anna Lindh Memorial Fund had said that “President Nasheed is awarded for the Maldives’ great efforts to put people and their human rights at the heart of the debate on climate change. He is also awarded for his role in the peaceful transition to democracy.”

President Nasheed, speaking to the press before his departure, said that receiving this award was a great honour for all Maldivians. Furthermore, he said that during the past few years, Maldivians have shown to the world their strong desire for democracy, freedom and protecting and promoting human rights.

During the visit, the President will have an audience with the King of Sweden as well as meet with some senior officials of the Swedish government and members of private organisations to explore ways of seeking support and assistance to the Maldives in various areas. He would also meet with some Swedish business leaders to try to find foreign investments to the Maldives.

The President is also scheduled to give a lecture and participate at a discussion co-sponsored by Anna Lindh Memorial Fund and Tällberg Foundation on the theme: “Saving Paradise”.

The President was accompanied by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr Ahmed Shaheed.