19 Oct 2006

Melanesian leaders off to Fiji ahead of Forum summit

2:33 pm on 19 October 2006

Melanesian leaders are due to fly to Fiji today on a chartered Air Niugini aircraft ahead of next week's Pacific Islands Forum meeting.

The plane will carry the Papua New Guinea prime minister, Sir Michael Somare, to Solomon Islands to pick up his counterpart, Manasseh Sogavare, before flying on to Vanuatu to collect Prime Minister Ham Lini and his delegation.

Their meeting comes amid disagreements among Australia, Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands over the suspended attorney-general of Solomon Islands suspected child sex offender, Julian Moti.

Mr Moti, who is an Australian lawyer and the suspended attorney-general of Solomon Islands, is on remand in Honiara for entering Solomons without valid papers.

He is wanted by Australia for alleged sex offences in Vanuatu in the 1990's.