India optimistic about envoy's election as Commonwealth Sec General

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Kampala, Nov 23 (UNI) India was today ''cautiously optimistic'' about election of its High Commissioner to Britain Kamlesh Sharma as the next Secretary General of the Commonwealth.

''We are talking to our friends to enlist support for Mr Sharma, who is pitted against Foreign Minister Michael Frendo and independent candidate Dr Mohan Kaul, Director General of the Commonwealth Business Council,'' Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon told reporters here while briefing on the deliberations at the Commonwealth summit.

He said the final decision on election or selection of the Secretary General would be taken by the Heads of Government or State during the retreat.

The term of the present Secretary General Don McKinnon comes to an end in February.

Commenting about the candidature of Dr Kaul, the Foreign Secretary said his case is ''most unusual''. If Mr Sharma gets elected, he would be the first Secretary General from Asia, he said.

UNI

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