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CHOGM Summit: PM to skip meet, Salman Khurshid to represent India

Last Updated: Sunday, November 10, 2013 - 01:18

Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: Prime Ministe Manmohan Singh on Saturday finally fixed the India`s Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) quandary by announcing that the External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid will head the November 15-17 CHOGM in Colombo.

According to the news reports, PM will soon write a letter to Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa to convey his decision.

The decision on level of Indian representation and Singh skipping the meet will be communicated to the Lankan government by tomorrow, sources said.

"The Prime Minister is likely to write to Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa by tomorrow regarding his decision," government sources said.

However, there was no official announcement over Singh`s decision to skip the Commonwealth Heads of Government Summit on November 15-16.

Political parties in Tamil Nadu and several other outfits have opposed India`s participation at any level in the CHOGM meet alleging that the Sri Lankan government had committed gross violation of human rights and had no plans to devolve powers to the ethnic Tamils.

However, Khurshid has been favouring Singh`s presence in the CHOGM scheduled on November 15, maintaining that it was vital as it will reflect India`s interests. According to MEA, it is also paramount to the nation`s strategic and security interests.

Asked if there was a possibility of Vice President Hamid Ansari representing India at the CHOGM if Singh decides not to go, MEA spokesperson did not give a direct reply.

He, however, said in 10 summit level meetings since 1993, the Prime Minister represented India five times while on four occasions, ministers had headed the Indian delegation. There was one instance of the Vice President representing India.

"So what you can summarise from this is that what we have followed in terms of participation in the CHOGM is an approach of something akin to horses for courses.
"We focused on what is required for our national interest, our foreign policy priorities and our international obligations. Taking those into account we have our delegations led by different people," he said.

Meanwhile, DMK president M Karunanidhi today welcomed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh`s decision not to take part in the Commonwealth summit in Sri Lanka.

With PTI inputs

First Published: Saturday, November 9, 2013 - 20:05

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