Oct 31, New Delhi: India's level of participation in the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Sri Lanka from the 15th of next month is an issue of high priority and the Indian government is considering all aspects of national interest to make a decision, India said today.
Indian media reports yesterday said that the Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is likely to attend the Commonwealth Meeting in Colombo despite the political pressure from the Tamil parties of Tamil Nadu.
Responding to the media reports at a media briefing today when asked whether a final has decision been taken, the official spokesman of the Ministry of External Affairs of India, Syed Akbaruddin said a process has been set in motion to arrive at a decision on the matter and the process "has not reached its culmination."
"We are taking into consideration all aspects of our national interest, our foreign policy priorities and our international obligations."
The spokesman said a decision would be announced once the process has made a conclusion on the level of participation.
India's External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid recently confirmed his participation but did not give any indication whether the Prime Minister will participate.
When asked about the media which said that the Chief Minister of Sri Lanka's Northern Provincial Council has invited the Prime Minister to visit Jaffna, the spokesman declining to divulge detailed information confirmed that the Prime Minister has received a letter from the Chief Minister on the 28th of this month and the Chief Minister has invited the Prime Minister to visit Jaffna.
Akbaruddin said the letter basically indicates that he (Chief Minister) is grateful for Indian assistance in terms of ensuring that the elections were held and an elected body has taken its place.
The Chief Minister has informed the PM that he has now assumed charge and he is grateful to India for that. Also, in the context that letter he has invited the Prime Minister to visit Jaffna.
"I can inform you that the letter basically indicates that he is grateful for Indian assistance in terms of ensuring that the elections were held and an elected body has taken its place. He does inform that he has now assumed charge and he is grateful to India for that. Also, in the context that letter he has invited the Prime Minister to visit Jaffna," the spokesman said.
He said the Chief Minister's request is an input into the decision-making process and will be considered with a variety of other factors. He declined to comment further on the process to take a decision on India's level of participation in CHOGM.