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Abbott says will back Sri Lanka

2013 Oct 08

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott says he has no intention of boycotting next month’s Commonwealth summit in Sri Lanka because of human rights concerns.

His comments came just hours after Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper issued a statement confirming his boycott of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), the Australian reported.

Harper and Abbott are on the Indonesian holiday island for the annual APEC leaders summit.

The two countries have a lot in common but they certainly don’t see eye to eye on the CHOGM, due to start in Colombo on November 10.

Abbott said Mr Harper’s decision was a matter for him.

“But certainly I intend to attend CHOGM and will do my best to make a constructive contribution to the deliberations there,” he told reporters.

The prime minister said the Commonwealth is an important forum and amongst Australia’s oldest international associations.

“You do not make new friends by rubbishing your old friends or abandoning your old friends,” he said

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