28 Jun 2012

MSG Secretariat says visit to New Caledonia not cancelled but deferred

4:50 am on 28 June 2012

The Melanesian Spearhead Group Secretariat says it wishes to clarify that the MSG ministerial mission to New Caledonia has not been cancelled but deferred to a later date.

The pro-independence FLNKS movement, which was to host the MSG ministerial delegation, says MSG chair and Fiji regime leader, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, could not get a French visa in time.

However, the French High Commission in Noumea says there was no inquiry from Fiji.

In a statement, the MSG Secretariat says the recent developments in New Caledonia merited consideration by members to defer the mission.

The Director General, Peter Forau, says they are now making plans according to instructions from their members and are planning for new dates for a mission visit to New Caledonia.

The week-long MSG mission was to look at the implementation of the Noumea Accord on greater autonomy and prepare for next year's silver jubilee of the MSG in New Caledonia.