1 Apr 2009

Forum Joint Working Group on Fiji suffers set back

9:24 am on 1 April 2009

The Forum Joint Working Group on Fiji is reported to have suffered a set back with the resignation of its chairman and Papua New Guinea's Ambassador to Fiji, Peter Eafeare.

"He was unavailable for a comment but the news agency, PACNEWS, has been reliably informed that Mr Eafeare was directed by his Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister to relinquish his chairmanship of the joint working group."

While no formal explanation has come from the Forum Secretariat and Port Moresby, it's believed that PNG took the position after a formal protest from the Fiji Government.

The PNG Ambassador has been chairing the joint working group since it was formed by a Pacific Islands Forum Leaders decision as a means for it to remain engaged with the interim administration in Fiji.

The joint working group last met in February this year, which was not attended by Fiji interim Government representatives.

A senior Government official told PACNEWS Fiji's participation will be determined by the interim prime minister, who is also responsible for foreign affairs.