Scottish independence leader Salmond a no-show after private meeting with Marois

Associated Press

EDINBURGH, Scotland - Quebec Premier Pauline Marois met with Scottish independence leader Alex Salmond today but there was no sighting of the two in public together.

Salmond's office downplayed the importance of today's private meeting, with a spokeswoman describing it as one of ''courtesy.''

Marois blamed the protocol of the Scottish Parliament on Salmond not appearing in public with her.

But had he wanted Salmond could have held a joint news conference with the premier elsewhere, which did not occur.

A referendum on Scottish independence is set for the fall of 2014.

Two reasons could explain Salmond's no-show: he may not have wanted to alienate the Government of Canada, and he may not have been eager to be seen in public with the leader of a party that had lost its own independence votes, twice, in 1980 and 1995.

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