Commonwealth meet: India to walk tightrope on UK-Russia face-off

Pic by ZAHARAH OTHMAN

Pic by ZAHARAH OTHMAN

First, there's been the very promising Indian showing at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in Australia, and on Tuesday Prime Minister Narendra Modi lands in London for a series of bilateral meetings with the British leadership before attending the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) scheduled for April 18-20.

May will speak alongside Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Bill Gates, also touching on the need to reduce malaria deaths, saying around 90 percent of Commonwealth citizens live in countries where the disease is endemic.

Britain last hosted Chogm in 1997. Ahead of the formal Heads of Government Meeting on Thursday and Friday, there will be three days of forums on Business, Women, People and Youth.

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Commonwealth is a multilateral organization known for its focus on the development issues that confront small States and small Island developing States.

May will commit 212 million pounds ($304 million) to try to make sure children living in developing Commonwealth countries receive 12 years of quality education.

Narendra Modi next week will become the first Indian prime minister in nearly a decade to attend a meeting of the heads of Commonwealth nations.

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The combined gross domestic product of Commonwealth countries is estimated at US$10.4 trillion (S$13.6 trillion) past year, and predicted to reach US$13 trillion in 2020.

Mr Lee will be accompanied by Mrs Lee, Minister for Foreign Affairs Vivian Balakrishnan and senior officials from the PMO, Ministry of Communications and Information, and Foreign Affairs Ministry.

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