12 Nov 2010

Solomons set MSG meeting date for December

2:38 pm on 12 November 2010

The Prime Minister of Solomon Islands, Danny Philip, says it will host a special Melanesian Spearhead Group meeting in December.

According to the Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation, Mr Philip says the meeting is set for December the 15th in Honiara.

The meeting should see the transfer of the MSG chairmanship from Vanuatu to Fiji in a traditional reconciliation ceremony that is likely to also involve traditional chiefs from both countries.

The announcement comes a week after the Vanuatu prime minister, Edward Natapei, said the meeting could not be held this month or next.

An MSG summit was originally due last July but Vanuatu pulled out, refusing to hand over the MSG chairmanship to a member that defies democratic principles.

Mr Philip says while his government does not condone the delay in the return to democratic elections in Fiji, the isolation of the country may do more harm than good in helping Fiji achieve that outcome.