29 Aug 2006

Fiji steps in to host Forum summit

7:11 pm on 29 August 2006

Fiji has agreed to host this year's summit of Pacific Forum leaders in place of Tonga.

Tonga said earlier it could not host such a meeting because of the deteriorating health of its king, Taufa'ahau Tupou the IV.

Fiji's prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, says Fiji has been asked and is happy to oblige, while the Forum secretary general Greg Urwin says they are grateful that Fiji could step in at such short notice.

Mr Qarase says he has appointed a cabinet subcommittee to organize the details including funding.

Assistance has been promised by the Australian and New Zealand Governments.