13 Jul 2009

MSG pushes for other Fijians to be consulted in Bainimarama roadmap

7:14 pm on 13 July 2009

The chairman of the Melanesian Spearhead Group, Vanuatu's Prime Minister Edward Natapei, says the MSG doesn't necessarily support the roadmap of Fiji's interim regime but that it is pushing for other Fijian leadership to be involved in the process.

Following their meeting on Fiji in Port Vila, the Prime Ministers of Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands said the Pacific Islands Forum should lift Fiji's Forum suspension which was the result of Suva failing to commit to elections this year.

The MSG leaders accepted the reasons given by Fiji's interim Prime Minister Commodore Frank Bainimarama for putting off elections for another five years after he briefed them in Vanuatu about his strategic framework for change in Fiji.

Mr Natapei says the Commodore displayed genuine will to work towards democracy.

"We had our views also and we made it clear at the meeting that we would like consultation to take place if possible to bring in other groups in Fiji also into the plans that they have so that it includes other groups and if possible nationwide reconciliation and dialogue should take place in Fiji."

Edward Natapei said it remained to be seen whether Pacific leaders as a group will lift Fiji's suspension at next month's annual Forum summit in Australia.