14 Jul 2009

MSG pushes for Forum re-engagement with Fiji on trade

11:26 am on 14 July 2009

The Melanesian Spearhead Group is seeking legal advice on the consequences of Fiji's non-participation in PICTA and PACER-PLUS trade discussions.

It's one of the outcomes of the MSG leaders retreat last week in Vanuatu, called to discuss the situation in Fiji with the country's interim Prime Minister Frank Banimarama

After being briefed by Commodore Bainimarama on his roadmap for democracy in Fiji, MSG leaders said the Pacific Islands Forum should lift Fiji's suspension from the regional grouping.

The MSG chair, Vanuatu's Prime Minister Edward Natapei, also says the exclusion of Fiji from recent trade deal discussions could render decisions pertaining to those agreements null and void.

"I admit we should have thought about that earlier on when we started negotiations as well because we s hould have brought Fiji into the negotiations since Fiji is a part of the PICTA and PACER agreements and now that it has come out we should consider it and in fact in the communiqué we are seeking legal advise on how to move forward with that."

Vanuatu's prime minister, Edward Natapei.