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Pakistan lauds Sri Lanka's opposition to Commonwealth suspension
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08:54, November 24, 2007

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Pakistan Friday welcomed Sri Lanka's stand which opposed Islamabad's suspension from the Commonwealth.

Sri Lanka and Malaysia objected to the Commonwealth's decision to suspend emergency-ruled Pakistan, according to reports.

"The government of Pakistan appreciates the decision of the government of Sri Lanka to disassociate itself from the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG)'s decision to suspend Pakistan from the councils of the Commonwealth," the Pakistani foreign ministry said in a statement.

"Sri Lanka is a member of CMAG and its foreign minister, who represented his country at the CMAG meeting, urged the Commonwealth to send a delegation to Pakistan to assess the ground situation rather than taking the hasty decision of suspending Pakistan's membership. Pakistan itself had proposed such a visit to CMAG member countries," it said.

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse expressed "strong objections of Sri Lanka at the decision taken to suspend Pakistan from membership of the Commonwealth at the Commonwealth heads of government meeting", Rajapakse's office said in a statement in Colombo.

Pakistan Friday regretted the Commonwealth decision and said that the body had ignored ground realities in the country.

However, Commonwealth Secretary General Don McKinnon Friday defended the organization's decision and said that there had been differences within the nine-country ministerial committee that decided to suspend Pakistan.


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