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Secretary-General to visit Samoa and Tonga

11 July 2011

Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma will make his first official visits to Samoa and the Kingdom of Tonga, following his attendance at the Commonwealth Law Ministers Meeting in Sydney in mid-July.

The Secretary-General will visit Apia, Samoa, from 14-15 July, where he will call on Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi. He will then travel to Nuku'alofa, Tonga, from 17-19 July, to meet with Tonga’s new Prime Minister, Lord Tu’ivakano. In both countries the Secretary-General will also meet with other Cabinet Ministers, the Speaker of Parliament, Opposition leader and Commonwealth High Commissioners.

The Secretary-General will meet the two Prime Ministers primarily to exchange views on the agenda and key issues for the forthcoming Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, to be held in Perth, Australia, in October 2011. The Secretary-General also wishes to pursue a deeper understanding of Samoa and Tonga’s national interests and priorities, and discuss ways the Commonwealth can best strengthen its partnership with both countries in areas of shared interest, including democracy and good governance, economic development, gender, and youth matters.

Note to Editors

For media interviews, please contact Simon Gimson, Head of the Office of the Secretary-General at [email protected] or via his UK mobile at +44-7711-710-047.