As part of his visit to Copenhagen, President Mohamed Nasheed has yesterday met with the World Bank President Robert B. Zoellick on Tuesday, to discuss the World Bank programs in the Maldives.

President Nasheed and Mr Zoellick also discussed the ongoing climate talks in Copenhagen.

In the meeting, Mr Zoellick praised President Nasheed on his strong voice on climate related issues and his courage in the democratic reform process in the Maldives.

While President Nasheed raised concerns over the state of the negotiations in Copenhagen, Mr Zoellick said that "Pragmatic solutions" have not been agreed on yet.

Speaking on the challenges the Maldives was facing, President Nasheed said "we have to reduce our civil service. We are increasing our electricity prices. We are having to ensure we provide a social safety net to the most vulnerable people" adding "and we need the Bank's assistance in this."

The President also discussed possibilities of the Bank's assistance in the corporatisation process in the Maldives.

He further expressed the importance of an already existing Financial Institution such as the World Bank to manage the Fund that may be a product of the Copenhagen climate talks.

The World Bank ground discussed the ongoing projects in the Maldives, particularly, privatisation of the Male' International Airport and the recently formed Waste management Corporation in the Maldives. The Bank expressed their interest to assist the Maldives through the financial crisis and praised the democratic reform process in the Maldives.