14 Jul 2010

Melanesian Spearhead Group rejects claims made by Fiji

11:18 am on 14 July 2010

The Melanesian Spearhead Group has rejected claims made by the interim Fiji Government that Vanuatu had acted alone in calling off next week's summit in Nadi.

The MSG chair, Edward Natepai, deferred the meeting at which the chair was to pass to Fiji's Commodore Frank Bainimarama, saying it would undermine the MSG's commitment to democracy and good governance.

Fiji's Foreign Ministry claims it still has the backing of Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea to hold the meeting and says Mr Natapei had options for resolving his concerns over the chairmanship.

But the MSG secretariat in Port Vila says Mr Natapei has been fully backed by the Solomons' and PNG leaders.

It says he will retain the chair in the meantime.