Commonwealth leaders head to Rwanda for first summit since 2018

Commonwealth leaders are heading for Rwanda this week for their first summit since 2018 and their first in Africa da 2007.

The Commonwealth heads of government meeting (Chogm) is also the first to be hosted by a “new” Commonwealth member – Ruanda was never a British colony, but voluntarily joined the organisation in 2009.

Boris Johnson is expected to set out the economic advantages of the 54-member organisation amid popular republican campaigns from leading members including Australia and Jamaica.

Il primo ministro, tuttavia, will be struggling with several key issues at the conference.

Johnson will be trying to ensure that the get-together is an economic success. At previous Chogms, bilateral agreements and pacts have been signed off.

The prime minister wrote in the Daily Telegraph on Monday that being a member is of “immense practical value for trade” and labelled the benefits as the “Commonwealth advantage”.

Members have 21% lower costs when trading with each other and investment levels that are 27% higher than between non-member nations, Egli ha detto.

“For all the differences between us, we are joined by an invisible thread of shared values, history and institutions and, ovviamente, the English language,” Johnson wrote. “We will meet on equal terms as old friends who know one another well.”

Prince Charles will represent the Queen, the head of the Commonwealth, when prime ministers and presidents gather in the Rwandan capital, Kigali.

With the Queen unable to attend all events at her platinum jubilee, the impact of the Prince of Wales’s eventual succession to the throne on how the monarchy is viewed overseas remains unknown.

After Barbados’s decision to become a republic last year, and amid growing support for republicanism in Australia and Jamaica, the government and Buckingham Palace are aware that they must spell out the usefulness of the Commonwealth if it is to continue after Charles becomes king.

Johnson may well meet Prince Charles, and any such meeting will be closely scrutinised by the world’s media after reports claimed that the heir to the throne is “appalled” by the government’s plans to send people seeking refuge to Rwanda.

Given that the Prince of Wales is also expected to meet Paul Kagame, Rwanda’s leader, who signed the refugee deal, there is plenty of scope for awkward and diplomatically fraught situations on all sides.

Charles’s representatives have said that he is “politically neutral” and will not comment on “supposed anonymous private conversations”.

Johnson has already been urged by his counterpart in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to use his influence from the multimillion-pound deal to ask Kagame’s government to stop funding rebel attacks in eastern Congo.

You can run away to a conference, but you can’t hide. Johnson may be 4,000 miles away from Westminster, but he will have to respond on Friday to the results of two byelections that could decide his political future.

Wakefield, as well as Tiverton and Honiton, will elect new MPs after the resignations of Imran Ahmad Khan, who has been jailed for sexually assaulting a teenage boy, and Neil Parish, who was caught watching pornography in the House of Commons chamber.

It comes as the Tories face dire ratings in the polls and Johnson struggles to recover from months of sleaze stories including Partygate. All'inizio di questo mese, 41 per cent of his MPs voted to remove him from office.

Questa settimana, further allegations have emerged that he tried to employ his now wife Carrie Johnson as his chief of staff when she was his lover and his then wife was undergoing cancer treatment. A spokesperson for Carrie Johnson has denied the claims.

Johnson has pledged to lead his party “to victory again”, but privately there are concerns that losing two seats on Thursday could spark moves to change Tory party rules to remove him from office.

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