3 Jul 2012

FLNKS delegate visits Fiji after New Caledonia trip flop

6:26 pm on 3 July 2012

The spokesman of New Caledonia's pro-independence FLNKS movement, Victor Tutugoro, has flown to Fiji after last weekend's planned Melanesian Spearhead Group mission to Noumea was called off.

Mr Tutugoro will meet the MSG chair and Fiji interim prime minister, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, but no details of the agenda have been given.

The week-long MSG mission to look at the implementation of New Caledonia's Noumea Accord was called off last week when Mr Tutugoro said the Fiji regime leader couldn't get a French visa in time.

The French embassy in Suva says no visa was ever requested although every Fiji citizen needs one to enter New Caledonia.

Mr Tutugoro, who was in Vanuatu over the weekend to meet the MSG secretary-general, Peter Forau, also said the recent election success of the anti-independence Caledonia Together Party made the planned visit difficult.

The party's leader, Philippe Gomes, had said there was no call for the region's only dictator to visit.

Mr Forau says French officials in Suva discussed the travel plans with Fiji but the embassy has refused to say what it advised.