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Secretary-General to visit India, Singapore, and New Zealand

Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma will visit India from 26 August to 1 September. While in New Delhi, the Secretary-General will meet with Vice-President Mohd Hamid Ansari; Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh; Minister of External Affairs S M Krishna; Minister of Finance Pranab Mukherjee; Minister of Commerce and Industry Anand Sharma; Minister of Human Resources Development and Communications and Information Technology Kapil Sibal; Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports Ajay Maken, National Security Adviser Shankar Menon; and the Chief Election Commissioner Dr S Y Quraishi.


Mr Sharma will head to Singapore from 1 to 2 September where he will hold talks with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance and Manpower Tharman Shanmugaratnam, and Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Masagos Zulkifli.


The Secretary-General will be in New Zealand from 4 to 8 September to attend the 42nd Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) in Auckland. He will address the PIF Leaders' Summit where the Commonwealth enjoys observer status, and will also hold bilateral meetings with Pacific leaders in the margins of the meeting.


While in Auckland, the Secretary-General will also meet with New Zealand leaders, including Governor-General Sir Jerry Mateparae, Prime Minister John Key, Minister of Foreign Affairs Murray McCully and Opposition Leader Phil Goff.


During his meetings with leaders, the Secretary-General will discuss priorities for the upcoming Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Perth in October, the reform of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) as well as the recommendations of the Eminent Persons Group. Mr Sharma will also brief leaders on the September meetings of the Commonwealth Foreign Ministers in New York and the Commonwealth Finance Ministers in Washington DC. He will also confer with them on regional and international issues of mutual concern.


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Commonwealth member countries and territories, which are members of the Pacific Islands Forum, include Australia, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, New Zealand (Cook Islands, Niue), Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.


Fiji's membership of the Commonwealth is presently suspended.


ENDS

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