26 Aug 2009

Fiji's exclusion from trade talks disastrous for Forum, says Bainimarama

9:10 pm on 26 August 2009

Fiji's Interim Prime Minister Commodore Frank Bainimarama is warning the country's expulsion from any trade talks will bring disaster to the Pacific Islands Forum.

The Fiji Sun newspaper reports Commodore Bainimarama says that Fiji plays a vital role in the Pacific Agreement on Close Economic Relations, or PACER, and should not be excluded by Forum leaders from negotiations over a new regional trade deal.

Following a meeting in Suva at the beginning of the week, Melanesian Spearhead Group foreign ministers re-affirmed that grouping's position that Fiji must be included in negotiations on the PACER Plus trade deal.

Commodore Bainimarama has again urged Pacific Island leaders to follow the step taken by the MSG to see for themselves what the situation in Fiji is really like.