New Zealand FM to visit Sri Lanka’s Tamil region

New Zealand      New Zealand Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully is to travel to the predominantly Tamil northern region of Sri Lanka next month to see first-hand civilian life since the end of the country’s long civil war in 2009.

McCully said Thursday he would make the trip while attending the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Colombo from Nov. 10 to 17.

“New Zealand has a strong interest in the progress being made on reconciliation and devolution in the north and I will report back to the Prime Minister (John Key) on the situation there ahead of the CHOGM Leader’s Retreat,” McCully said in a statement.

“CHOGM sets the Commonwealth’s agenda for the coming two years, and with 53 member states home to more than 2 billion people, a number of significant global issues will be up for discussion.”

McCully will also attend the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in New Delhi, India, on Nov. 11 and 12.

“The ASEM meeting is an important forum for discussing issues affecting European and Asian states and strengthening the relationship between the two regions,” McCully said. (Xinuha)

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