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Nawaz Sharif praises Sri Lanka for Commonwealth summit

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 Colombo, Nov 14: Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif congratulated Sri Lanka on hosting the Commonwealth leaders’ summit in a statement released by the Pakistan High Commission ahead of his arrival here Thursday.

In his special message on the occasion of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), Sharif expressed confidence in the "astute leadership of President Mahinda Rajapaksa," saying that Commonwealth would become a stronger and more cohesive organisation under his leadership, Xinhua reported.

Sharif reaffirmed that Pakistan, being a democracy and a responsible member of the global community, subscribed to the work of the Commonwealth for promoting peace through international cooperation and poverty alleviation through sustainable economic and social development. 

The theme of this year’s summit, ‘Growth with Equity – Inclusive Development’ is therefore highly relevant, he added.

Pakistan is one of the eight founding members of the Commonwealth, which signed the London Declaration of April 1949. 

Sharif’s Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh has skipped the event along with the Canadian and Mauritius prime ministers. 

Indian External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid, together with Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh, arrived here Wednesday on a five-day visit that will also see them attending the CHOGM.