10 Jul 2009

MSG meeting begins in Port Vila

10:59 am on 10 July 2009

The Melanesian Spearhead Group leaders retreat gets underway in Vanuatu today.

Leaders of the MSG member countries are all expected to gather in Port Vila for the one-day meeting which is expected to focus on the plans of the Fiji interim regime.

Johnny Blades reports:

"As MSG chair, Vanuatu's Prime Minister called the urgent meeting to discuss among other things the Pacific Islands Forum decision to suspend Fiji for its interim regime's refusal to commit to relinquishing power by holding elections this year. The MSG secretariat says the leaders retreat will include Fiji's interim prime Minister Commodore Frank Bainimarama who is expected to brief the other leaders on his deferral of elections. The Commodore has said he is relishing the chance to share with the MSG the mandate that guides his government to rule until 2014. He is expected to try re-engage with the region by persuading the other MSG leaders to distance themselves from the Forum move to suspend Fiji."