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Sharma respects Harper's stand

2013 Oct 09

Commonwealth Secretary General Kamalesh Sharma says he has been formally informed that Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper will not be attending the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Sri Lanka next month and he respects that decision.

The Commonwealth Secretariat said that it is up to each member country to determine its level of representation at CHOGM and Canada has made that determination and the Secretariat respects the decision.

The Secretariat said that Canada is a valued member of the Commonwealth family, and its contribution to the association is appreciated by other member countries and the Commonwealth Secretariat. Like other members, it too is able to avail itself of the advantages of Commonwealth membership.

“It is important to highlight that Commonwealth Heads of Government collectively decided in Port of Spain in 2009 that Sri Lanka would host the 2013 CHOGM. The leaders confirmed their decision when they met again in Perth in 2011. We expect broad-based participation by Commonwealth leaders in Colombo and a successful meeting next month – one that focuses on issues of collective interest to the Commonwealth,” the Commonwealth Secretariat said.

The Secretariat said that the Commonwealth Secretary-General looks forward to the participation of the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and for International Human Rights, who will represent Canada at the meeting in Colombo. (Colombo Gazette)

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