AP

Gabon and Togo admitted into Commonwealth group of nations

Jun 24, 2022, 10:31 PM | Updated: Jun 25, 2022, 10:35 am

Secretary-General of the Commonwealth of Nations Patricia Scotland, second left, arrives for the Le...

Secretary-General of the Commonwealth of Nations Patricia Scotland, second left, arrives for the Leaders' Retreat on the sidelines of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting at Intare Conference Arena in Kigali, Rwanda, Saturday, June 25, 2022. (Dan Kitwood/Pool Photo via AP)

(Dan Kitwood/Pool Photo via AP)

KIGALI, Rwanda (AP) — The African nations of Gabon and Togo have been admitted into the Commonwealth group of nations.

“We welcome them,” Rwandan President Paul Kagame, whose government hosted a summit of Commonwealth leaders this week, told reporters Saturday.

Gabon and Togo are Francophone countries that actively tried to join the bloc of 54 nations. The Commonwealth’s titular head is Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II. Prince Charles represented his mother at the summit in Kigali, the Rwandan capital.

The admission of the two new members was a highlight of the summit. The meeting, which closes later Saturday, also raised more than $4 billion in pledges toward the fight against malaria and other tropical diseases.

The summit took place place at an uncertain time for the British monarchy as well as the Commonwealth, whose relevance is sometimes questioned.

Even as the Commonwealth appears attractive to prospective members, some existing member nations are discussing whether to remove the queen as their head of state.

Elizabeth is the head of state of 14 Commonwealth realms, but Barbados cut ties with the monarchy in November. Several other Caribbean countries, including Jamaica, say they plan to follow suit.

Charles told the summit Friday that “free” nations can make such decisions “calmly and without rancor.”

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

jerry west...

Tim Reynolds, The Associated Press

Jerry West, a 3-time Hall of Fame selection and the NBA logo, dies at 86

Jerry West, a three-time Basketball Hall of Fame inductee whose silhouette is considered to be the basis of the NBA logo, died Wednesday morning.

21 hours ago

Photo: Construction vehicles are parked outside of the Station U & O building on Tuesday, June 11, ...

Haleluya Hadero, The Associated Press

Amazon adds $1.4B to affordable housing fund for regions where it has corporate offices

Amazon is adding $1.4B to a fund for building more affordable housing in regions where the company has major corporate offices.

1 day ago

hunter biden...

Randall Chase and the Associated Press

Hunter Biden convicted of all 3 felony charges in federal gun trial

Hunter Biden has been convicted of all three felony charges related to the purchase of a revolver in 2018, but no sentencing date was set.

2 days ago

Photo: A Bremerton man who made 20 "swatting" calls around the U.S. and in Canada, prompting real e...

Associated Press

Bremerton man sentenced for 20 ‘swatting’ calls of false threats in US, Canada

A Bremerton man who made 20 "swatting" calls around the U.S. and in Canada, prompting real emergency responses, has been sentenced.

2 days ago

Image: U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, left, speaks with Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zele...

Associated Press

Ukraine uses US weapons to strike inside Russia, a Western official tells AP

Ukraine has used U.S weapons to strike inside Russia in recent days, according to a Western official familiar with the matter told the AP.

8 days ago

boeing nasa...

Marcia Dunn, The Associated Press

Boeing launches NASA astronauts for the first time after years of delays

Boeing launched astronauts for the first time Wednesday, belatedly joining SpaceX as a second taxi service for NASA.

8 days ago

Gabon and Togo admitted into Commonwealth group of nations