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CHOGM: UK recognises Manmohan Singh's decision is a "difficult" one


Kochi: United Kingdom Monday said it recognises that Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's decision not to personally attend the CHOGM summit in Colombo from November 15 is a "difficult" one.

"We recognise that it is really a difficult decision which we have thought hard about. We know that other countries, including Canada, for example, as well have decided not to send their heads of government. It is a very difficult decision," British Deputy High Commissioner to Chennai Bharat Suresh Joshi told reporters here.

Joshi, who is here in connection with the four-day visit of Prince Charles and his wife Camilla Parker Bowles to Kerala from today, was reacting to queries on India's decision not to send its Prime Minister to the CHOGM meet.

"Our government has taken the decision that the meeting is about the Commonwealth and we believe that for the wider interests of Commonwealth, we should be attending", he said.

This was also an opportunity to raise our concerns on human rights issues with the Sri Lankan government, he said. P Describing the royal couple's four day sojourn to Kerala as 'great visit' for the UK-India relations, Joshi said Prince of Wales would be visiting Kerala Folklore museum, Jewish Synagogue and Dutch palace during their visit here.

The Kerala Governor will be hosting a dinner for the Royal couple tonight. Prince Charles, who turns 65 on November 14, will be celebrating his birthday at Kumarakom, a tourist destination. Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy along with his wife will be meeting the royal couple for a breakfast meeting on that day.

After visiting the Jewish Synangogue at nearby Mattancherry and the Dutch palace, the royal visitors will leave for Colombo where Prince of Wales would be representing his mother Queen Elizabeth II at the CHOGM meet.


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