President Mohamed Nasheed has today met with President Anote Tong of Kiribati. The meeting was held this morning at the President’s Office.

Speaking at the meeting, President Nasheed noted that both the Maldives and Kiribati were vulnerable to the effects of climate change and it was important to achieve a common understanding on the issue, before the UN Climate Summit in Copenhagen begins.

President Nasheed further stressed on the need to get the support and cooperation of the developed countries for the developing world, especially in adaptation and mitigation to climate change. In addition, President Nasheed spoke on the need to get a commitment from bigger, developed countries.

President Tong said that climate change was an immediate threat to small countries such as the Maldives and Kiribati. He further said that “we have less time than the others” and that the countries cannot afford to come out of Copenhagen without an agreement.

At the meeting, the two leaders discussed ways of strengthening bilateral relations between the two countries. Discussions were especially focused on enhancing cooperation in the field of fisheries.

President Tong is in the Maldives to participate at the Climate Vulnerable Forum which will be held in Bandos Island Resort from 9 – 10 November. In addition to Kiribati, more than 14 countries vulnerable to climate change will participate at the forum.