Vol. 2 No. 5                            "India is the cradle of the human race... " - Mark Twain

December 2007 "Canada is one of the oldest federations the planet still has up and running." - Roy MacGregor

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Warm Discussion on a Broad Range of Issues

Prime Ministers: Stephen Harper and Manmohan Singh at Kampala
(Photo courtesy: PMO office in Ottawa)

The Presidents and Prime Ministers of the 53 member countries of the Commonwealth joined in a summit in Kampala, Uganda, from 23-25 November 2007. 

In an address to the leaders, the Queen said the organization is committed to "addressing the great preoccupations and concerns of our times."

"No single society has achieved perfection, and there is no single recipe for success," she said.

During his three-day visit, Dr Singh held a string of bilateral meetings with Commonwealth leaders.

With India being the largest member state of the Commonwealth nation, India's Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, took the opportunity to highlight the major socio-economic transformations that are currently underway in the country at the Kampala meeting.

Reflecting the diverse nature of Canada-India relations, Prime Minister Harper and Prime Minister Singh had a warm discussion on a broad range of issues. Both leaders expressed pleasure at the opportunity to meet and Prime Minister Harper extended an invitation to the Indian Prime Minister to visit Canada, which the latter said he would be delighted to accept given his personal links to Canada, including a university scholarship in his name.

Leaders reaffirmed the strong trade and investment relationship India and Canada enjoy, recognising that there is unrealised potential, and discussed the opportunities in a relationship which has developed from close links forged immediately after Independence.

Prime Minister Harper recognized India’s extensive involvement in development and reconstruction in Afghanistan as a complement to Canada’s extensive involvement. Prime Minister Singh underscored their long term commitment to bringing about transformational change in Afghanistan. Prime Minister Harper encouraged India to play an active and constructive role on Burma and Prime Minister Singh confirmed that India is joined with the international community in promoting democratic change in Burma, engagement with leaders, notably Aung San Suu Kyi.

Prime Minister Harper offered Prime Minister Singh congratulations on Indian High Commissioner Sharma’s confirmation as Commonwealth Secretary-General, succeeding New Zealand’s Don McKinnon.



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