President Nasheed has today met with the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Swedish parliament, led by Mr Goran Lenmarker, Chairman of the Committee. The Meeting was held in the Foreign Affairs Committee Room of the Swedish parliament.

The President briefed the Committee the challenges facing the Maldives, in particular in the area of transitional justice and strengthening of independent institutions. He also outlined the efforts being made by the Maldives to promote human rights at home and abroad.

The Chairman of the Committee noted that with the democratisation of the Maldives, all the nations of SAARC have embraced democracy and outlined the work that Sweden had been doing globally to promote human rights, democracy and good governance.

In particular, the Chairman noted the emphasis being given by Sweden to promote dialogue and understanding with Muslim societies, especially after 9/11. He also paid tribute to the President's credentials as a former dissident and pro-democracy activist, and applauded the efforts that the President had undertaken to foster democracy in the Maldives.

The President said that more needed to be done to promote democracy in South Asia and said that he could not accept that Aung Sang Sui Kyi should remain under arrest. He added that without democracy societies would not be able to achieve peace and progress.

President Nasheed also stressed the importance of contributing to strengthening independent institutions in the Maldives in order to strengthen rule of law, fight corruption and consolidate democracy.

The Chairman and the President discussed ways in which Sweden can contribute to democratic consolidation in the Maldives.