#header-inner img {margin: 0 auto !important; #header-inner {text-align: Center ;} Fiji Coupfourpointfive: Junta forges ahead with its Melanesian Sunmmit as Forum prepares to meet without it

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Junta forges ahead with its Melanesian Sunmmit as Forum prepares to meet without it

Fiji's illegal government is not to be outdone when it comes to regional gatherings, it seems.

The Pacific Islands Forum announced yesterday it will be holding its 41st Forum from August the 3rd to the 6th in Port Vila.

Fiji's interim government also announced that it would be hosting the Melanesian Spearhead Group Summit in Suva, on July 22 and the 23rd.

Fiji, of course, will not be attending the Forum in Port Vila in Vanuatu, because it was suspended on May 2 last year after the junta failed to meet the forum-imposed deadline to hold a general election.

Pacific Scoop reported the Secretariat chair, Johnson Honimae, as saying the agenda for the meeting will be finalised by the Officials Committee meeting at the Forum Secretariat in Suva, Fiji, from July the 15th and the 16th - without Fiji.

“All members of the Forum with the exception of Fiji, which has been suspended from the forum, are expected to attend the meeting,” Honimae told Pacific Scoop.

The Bainimarama government is ignoring the snub and has sent out invites for the Melanesian Spearhead Group Summit meeting in two months time with the military leader telling the Fiji Sun that he's not worried about non-attendance.

“We have already sent out invitations to all Pacific Island countries who are non-members of the Melanesia Spearhead Group and it is up to them whether they wish to attend,” he said.

Bainimarama said he was not worried if Samoa, whose Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, has continually criticised the military government doesn't attend.  

Fiji's meeting is expected to include it's strongest supporters, the Melanesian trio - Vanuatu, Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea.
 “There is a need to discuss Fiji’s way forward with other neighbouring countries following our exclusion from the Forum,” says Bainimarama.

Pictures: Top left - Fiji supporter PNG prime minister, Michael Somare. Bottom right - Fiji critic, Tuilaepa.