Bhutan invites Maldives for SAARC Summit


January 06, 2009: Prime Minister Jigme Thinley has sent invitation to Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed to attend the 16th SAARC Summit to be held in Bhutan.

The letter of invitation was presented to the President by the Special Envoy of the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ugyen Tshering Wednesday afternoon during a meeting held at the Maldivian President’s Office.

The President thanked Prime Minister Jigme Thinley, and confirmed the acceptance of the invitation.

Discussion, that followed the invitation call, focused on the existing close, friendly relations between the Maldives and Bhutan, as well as on challenges facing SAARC.

Noting the importance of enhancing the role of SAARC through greater cooperation among the member-countries, the Maldivian President said that the SAARC Summit should be more result-oriented.

The President commended King Jigme Khesar for providing the main impetus for political reform in Bhutan.

In response Tshering congratulated President Nasheed for the democratization of the Maldives and expressed confidence that the Maldives would attain greater development and prosperity under the Nasheed’s leadership.


  1. It is indeed a matter of great glory for Bhutan to hold one SAARC Summit in its almost three decade history. Although President Mohammed Nasheed of Maldives has congratulated King Jigme Khesar for providing impetus in enhancing co-operation among member-States through SAARC venture, there are no instances to justify/prove this. Bhutan is just attempting to mobilize foreign aid and grand by hosting high level meetings. When 1/5 of its population have no access to information, adult franchise and such other inalienable rights, the significance of political gathering is of no use. Generally speaking, there will be secret talks between India and the Kingdom of Bhutan on the eve of SAARC to forge additional sketches, which in the longrun, will result in boost economy but eviction of Lhotshampa population living in the country. Failure to assess Bhutan’s human rights situation by SAARC countries in general and India in particular seems more astonishing in the rapid globalising era of 21st century. There is no meaning of SAARC in South Asia if it fails to put an end to Bhutanese Refugee crisis, Indo-Pak conflict and growing Islamic terrorism in Bangladesh and Afganistan. SAARC could do nothing in the Tamil Revolution in Srilanka. If SAARC is an an indispensable part of South Asia, leaders should commit to fully implement its protocols and participate in the development goals setforth in the Beginning of its emergence.