28 May 2007

Cook Islands Prime Minister disappointed with meeting in Washington

6:20 am on 28 May 2007

The Cook Islands Prime Minister, Jim Marurai, says the 8th Pacific Islands Conference of Leaders held in Washington DC this month was a disappointment for the Cook Islands.

Twenty leaders from Pacific island governments attended the three-day conference organised by the Honolulu-based East-West Center.

For the first time, the conference was in Washington DC, as the United States has named this year the "Year of the Pacific".

Jim Marurai says no real progress was made at the conference and he was not surprised the US did not offer assistance to the Cook Islands.

"We do not get anything from the United States so I was not surprised for the Cook Islands, we did not expect to get anything from it."

Jim Marurai says he not given up and he hopes bilateral talks can find a solution.

Meanwhile, as a result of the meeting a new regional office for the US State Department will be established in Suva, Fiji to oversee U.S public diplomacy activities throughout the Pacific Islands.