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Cameron heads to Malta for Commonwealth talks on extremism

Published 26/11/2015

Prime Minister David Cameron is holding talks with Commonwealth states in Malta
Prime Minister David Cameron is holding talks with Commonwealth states in Malta

David Cameron will call on leaders to find ways to combat terrorism and tackle extremism at a Commonwealth summit.

The Prime Minister is flying into Malta late tonight ahead of two days of talks that will include meetings on radicalisation and counter-terror measures.

Mr Cameron wants discussions to focus on methods to stamp out the "poisonous ideology" of extremism as well as ways Commonwealth countries can work together on defeating terror groups.

A government source said: "The Commonwealth brings together a group of countries that have many shared values but face different challenges, different threats from things like foreign fighters and from different groups - so an opportunity to look at how we can be exchanging ideas."

Ahead of flying out for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (Chogm), the Prime Minister will set out his case for military intervention in Syria to defeat Islamic State - along with plans for a wider political settlement in a statement to MPs.

Mr Cameron visited Paris earlier this week for talks with Francois Hollande in the wake of the terror attacks on the capital that left 130 dead.

The French president is due to attend the summit in Malta for discussions on climate change ahead of a major summit in Paris on Monday, but the two leaders could have further discussions on the terror response in the margins of the Valletta gathering.

Mr Cameron believes Chogm will provide an "important opportunity" to try to mobilise the Commonwealth behind securing an "ambitious" environmental deal at the France talks.

Over the course of the summit, the Prime Minister will also push his anti-corruption drive - laid out in Germany at the G7 in June - by calling for countries to work together to tackle corruption.

He will also urge Commonwealth leaders to take a stronger approach in dealing with the Maldives following a coup that ousted its democratically elected president.

"We think Commonwealth countries could be doing more to deliver a clear and consistent message to the Maldives about the need for a genuine political dialogue and the need for political prisoners to be release," the government source said.

Mr Cameron will stop off in Vienna on his way out to Chogm for talks with Werner Faymann - the first bilateral between an Austrian Chancellor and British Prime Minister for more than 30 years - as part of his bid to renegotiate Britain's relationship with the European Union.

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