Sun | Jun 26, 2022

Kamina gets powerful India backing for Commonwealth bid

Published:Wednesday | May 25, 2022 | 12:10 AM
Indian President Ram Nath Kovind (right) is greeted by Prime Minister Andrew Holness and Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Minister Kamina Johnson Smith on arrival at Jamaica House on Monday, May 16.
Indian President Ram Nath Kovind (right) is greeted by Prime Minister Andrew Holness and Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Minister Kamina Johnson Smith on arrival at Jamaica House on Monday, May 16.

India has declared support for Jamaica’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Kamina Johnson Smith’s candidature for the post of secretary general of the Commonwealth.

In a letter addressed to Johnson Smith, the Indian Minister of External Affairs Dr S. Jaishankar expressed his Government’s assurance that her “excellent credentials and impeccable track record can offer the right leadership to the Commonwealth at this important juncture”.

Jaishankar further expressed the desire for collaboration to “ensure that the Commonwealth’s relevance and priorities are effectively met”.

India’s endorsement follows the historical State visit of the president of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, last week, the first to Jamaica by an Indian head of state.

The State visit coincided with Jamaica’s and India’s celebration of 60 and 75 years of Independence, respectively, as well as the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two Commonwealth countries.

In welcoming the endorsement, Johnson Smith stated that she shares the intent expressed by Jaishankar to strengthen the excellent coordination between the two countries on a wide range of issues of mutual interest in the multilateral fora, and furthermore affirmed that she also looks forward to “engaging in robust multilateral cooperation, including within the family of connected and committed Commonwealth nations”.

India, a founding member of the Commonwealth and its most populous member state, joins a growing number of countries that have declared support for Johnson Smith’s candidature ahead of the Commonwealth Heads of State and Government Meeting, which will be hosted by Rwanda in June.

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