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Indo-Lanka ties shouldn't be held hostage to PM skipping CHOGM

Press Trust of India  |  Gurgaon 

Defending the Prime Minister's decision to skip CHOGM meeting in Sri Lanka, External Affairs Minister today said he has taken a "considered" call on the visit, against which sentiments were also expressed by his ministers, and the ties between the two countries should not be held hostage to this decision.

"The position we've taken is not a boycott if I'm going. The Prime Minister has taken a considered call. As you can see, he's factored in a lot of issues including the importance of his presence in the country at this point of time. We are, after all, facing five elections.

"There were also very strong sentiments expressed by our colleagues in from As indeed, there was a sentiment expressed by that State's assembly. I think everything must have been factored in and after that a decision was taken," Khurshid told reporters at a press conference after the conclusion of the two-day Asia-Foreign Ministers (ASEM) meeting here.

Bowing to immense pressure from Tamil parties and members of his own government, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh decided to skip his visit to to attend Commonwealth Heads of Government Summit from Friday and wrote to Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa expressing his regret in this regard.

political parties and Congress leaders from the state have been opposing the Prime Minister's visit alleging that government has committed atrocities and human rights violations against Tamils.

First Published: Tue, November 12 2013. 19:02 IST