2 Feb 2009

MSG Secretariat ready to facilitate further dialogue on Fiji situation

2:29 pm on 2 February 2009

The Melanesian Spearhead Group Secretariat says it expects to facilitate further dialogue with Fiji's interim government over the country's return to democracy.

The Director General for the MSG Secretariat, Rima Ravusiro, says he's waiting for a briefing from Vanuatu's Prime Minister Edward Natapei about last week's Pacific Forum leaders meeting in PNG on the Fiji situation.

Mr Natapei, who is also the MSG chair, has said Vanuatu stands firm by the latest Forum leaders decision that targetted measures will be taken against Fiji unless the interim regime nominates a 2009 election date by May the first.

Mr Ravusiro says depending on Mr Natapei's cue, the secretariat could soon arrange talks among Melanesian leaders on Fiji.

"That is the next step that I think the leaders are contemplating - how do we do this in light of all that has happened, all that has gone and transpired since Niue [Pacific Forum leaders summit August 2008] to Port Moresby [Special Forum leaders' meeting last week] and all those things are to be taken on board and assessed and find ways of how we're going to engage Fiji so that there is a quicker process to getting elections or what have you... some agreement going on. At least dialogue is better."

Rima Ravusiro