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Visiting Canadian envoy holds talks in Sri Lanka

English.news.cn   2013-03-20 17:08:23            

COLOMBO, March 20 (Xinhua) -- Visiting Canadian envoy Hugh Segal who is currently on an official visit in Sri Lanka ahead of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in November held talks with several officials in Colombo, officials said here on Wednesday.

Canadian Senator Segal, is in the island as an envoy to the Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird.

"I have had a day and a half of meetings with various civil society groups, some parliamentarians, international organizations, Commonwealth and other diplomats and officials of Sri Lanka's External Affairs Ministry," he told the media.

He said that he will be in the north for two days from Wednesday and will be meeting senior government officials all day on Friday.

"Over the weekend I will be visiting Galle. Your officials and all Sri Lankans have been most courteous and kind in every way," he said.

Quoted in the local media just before his arrival in Sri Lanka, Segal said that the purpose of his visit to the island nation will be to act as a fact finder for Canada's foreign minister

"As you may know, the level of our delegation to the Commonwealth heads of government meeting scheduled for November in Colombo has yet to be decided. I shall report back to the Foreign Minister after my trip is concluded," he said.

Canada has said that Prime Minister Stephen Harper will not attend the CHOGM in Sri Lanka unless there is an improvement in the human rights situation in Sri Lanka.

Canadian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Chrystiane Roy had said last December that the Canadian government feels the Sri Lankan government continues to fail victims and survivors of the war.

"Prime Minister Harper has clearly stated that unless there is significant progress on political reconciliation, accountability and respect for human rights in Sri Lanka, he will not attend the CHOGM hosted by Sri Lanka in 2013," Roy said.

Editor: Zhu Ningzhu
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