Sri Lanka to host 2013 Commonwealth summit

SYDNEY, November 30, 2009 (AFP) – Australia unveiled Perth on Monday as the venue for the next Commonwealth summit in 2011, as the international club’s latest gathering ended in Trinidad and Tobago. Foreign Minister Stephen Smith said it was a “tremendous opportunity” for the west-coast city, which is at the heart of the country’s commodities boom.

“This is a very good outcome for Australia,” Smith, who comes from Western Australia, told reporters.

“It’s a tremendous opportunity to showcase both Australia’s values and virtues and also an opportunity to showcase Perth and Western Australia.”

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd had earlier confirmed Australia as the next host of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), without naming the city.

Trinidad Prime Minister Patrick Manning told the latest summit that Sri Lanka would host the 2013 CHOGM, and Mauritius in 2015.

Western Australia state premier Colin Barnett said Sri Lanka was initially intended for 2011 but was replaced because of concerns over its recently ended civil war.

“This is going to be very important for our position as the Australian city on the Indian Ocean,” Barnett added.

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