Indian diplomat to be new head of Commonwealth

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Kampala, Nov 24: The 53-nation Commonwealth of mainly former British colonies today appointed an Indian diplomat, Kamlesh Sharma, as its next secretary-general.

Sharma, the Indian High Commissioner in London, will take over on April 1 from New Zealand's Don McKinnon, who has done the job for two terms, or eight years.

''It is a tough job I have taken over but I do so with confidence and enthusiasm ... the Commonwealth is a great global good,'' Mr Sharma said when his appointment was announced by McKinnon during a summit of the group in Uganda.

The Commonwealth's members represent 1.8 billion people, or more than a quarter of the world's population.

Sharma beat Maltese Foreign Minister Michael Frendo to the job.


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