We can tonight confirm that the leaders of the Melanesian Spearhead Group did not offer their total support to Frank Bainimarama and the interim regime during the Special MSG Leaders Retreat at Port Vila last month.
Bainimarama has been trumpeting the support of the MSG leaders for his Strategic Framework and for the changes he announced to the people of Fiji on July the first. Under the Framework, work on a new Constitution would start in more than three year's time, in September 2012, with elections to be held in September 2014.
According to a joint communique signed by the MSG leaders and Bainimarama, the Melanesian leaders noted the Framework reflected clear vision and strategy. On Fiji's links with the Pacific Islands Forum, the leaders noted the importance of Fiji continuing to engage with the MSG and the Forum.
They said it was important for Fiji to participate in talks on regional trade and economic agreements such as PICA, PACER - plus and the interim Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). However, Fiji has been excluded from these talks and the 40th Forum Leaders Conference being held this week in Cairns, Australia.
The leaders then agreed in their communique on the way to achieve democracy, emphasising reconcliation and dialogue - something that was not revealed by the regime to the people of Fiji.
In the communique, sighted by Coupfourpointfive, the leaders urged the regime to engage all leaders in Fiji through a nationwide reconcliation and dialogue. They emphasised reconciliation would pave the way for open and genuine dialogue among leaders at all levels of the society, towards promoting the principles and practices of democracy.
The MSG leaders offered support to assist the regime towards building commitment and capacity for genuine dialogue and reconciliation consistent with Melanesian values and traditional practices.
The communique was signed by the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, Sir Michael Somare, Solomons Islands PM, Dr Derek Sikua, Vanuatu PM Edward Natapei, Kanak Socliast Liberation Front ( FLNKS) of New Caledonia spokesman, Vintor Tutugoro, and Frank Bainimarama.
The MSG leaders' decision on reconcliation and dialogue is similar to the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) outcome for the regime to initiate the Presidents Political Dialogue Forum of all political leaders and for the regime not to impose any pre-determined outcomes on the Forum to find a ay forward to democracy.
The resolution was reiterated last Friday night after an extraordinary meeting in London, with the Secretariat giving the regime until September 1 to move towards democracy and elections, or face full suspension.