President Mohamed Nasheed today met with the President of the European Commission, Mr José Manuel Durão Barroso, during the COP 15 climate change conference in Copenhagen.

In a frank, yet warm exchange of views, President Nasheed stressed the importance of European moral leadership at the talks. Referring to the EU’s commitment to reducing emissions by 20% by 2020 and by 30% when other developed countries make comparable efforts, President Nasheed stated that the 30% target should not be conditional.

He also referred to the carbon neutral plans he had announced for the Maldives earlier in the year. The EU had the technological capabilities to allow for far greater use of renewable energy, President Nasheed believed.

Discussion also centred on the various options open to drafting and then concluding an agreement prior to its conclusion later this week. The survival of future generations of Maldivians must be ensured, President Nasheed stated.

Finally the President requested that the European Union establish its first ever delegation office in the Maldives. Noting that no EU Member State currently had a presence in the country meant that such a decision would certainly facilitate increased cooperation between the EU and the Maldives. President Barroso assured he would discuss this request with the new EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Baroness Catherine Ashton, with a view to achieving the establishment of a formal delegation office.