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PM pulls out of Commonwealth meeting

delhi Updated: Aug 11, 2011 10:48 IST

AFP
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Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has pulled out of a meeting of heads of government from Commonwealth countries in Australia later this year, government officials in New Delhi said on Thursday.

"The prime minister has decided that he will not be attending the CHOGM (Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting) this year and he has not given a reason so far," one official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said.

Vice President Mohammad Hamid Ansari will represent India in the meeting, a second official said, confirming that Singh would not travel.

The PM will be travelling to Bangladesh in September and to the Maldives for the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) summit scheduled in November this year.

Leaders from over 50 member countries of the Commonwealth are expected to attend the two yearly meeting that starts on October 28 in the western city of Perth.

While the agenda has not been made public, the theme for CHOGM 2011 is "Building global resilience, building national resilience."

The Commonwealth is a group of mostly former British colonies that represents over a third of the global population.

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