14 Jul 2009

MSG stand on Fiji could make for fireworks at Cairns Forum summit

8:31 pm on 14 July 2009

A Pacific academic says the upcoming Pacific Islands Forum meeting will be spent trying to reach a compromise over the situation in Fiji.

Last week, the governments of Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu said they would attempt to get the Pacific Islands Forum to lift Fiji's suspension.

John Henderson, from the University of Canterbury, says there is a rift within the forum, which can be seen in the growing influence of the Melanesian Spearhead Group.

But he says the meeting in Cairns will try to bring the two positions together.

"There will be some fireworks, but I think it's going to be the Pacific Way of compromise. I mean anyone can say they want to help Fiji restore democracy, and in that sense there's no quarrel. It's what Fiji should do in the interim, and how long that's going to take, is it going to be 5 years, or 5 months."

John Henderson says he believes there is still room for a compromise.