4 Jan 2007

New Zealand officials unable to confirm meeting regarding Fiji's place in the Forum

11:25 am on 4 January 2007

New Zealand officials contacted this morning have been unable to confirm a report in the Solomon Star newspaper that the Pacific Island Forum's Foreign Ministers are to decide the fate of Fiji as a founding member at a meeting in New Zealand later this month.

The newspaper says the meeting will be held in Auckland or Wellington as part of regional efforts to deal with the military takeover in Fiji.

Fiji have been suspended from the Commonwealth, and removed from the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands since the pre-Christmas coup led by Commodore Bainimarama.

The paper says several meetings are planned this month, including a planned visit by an Eminent Persons Group to Suva.

The outcome of this meeting according to the newspaper report will be discussed in New Zealand by the Foreign Ministers of the Pacific Island's Forum.