5 Jul 2012

Fiji regime leader still keen on MSG's New Caledonia visit

10:13 am on 5 July 2012

Fiji's interim prime minister, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, says as chair of the Melanesian Spearhead Group he would definitely like to oversee what is developing in New Caledonia.

According to the information ministry, he made the comment as he met the spokesman of the pro-independence FLNKS movement, Victor Tutugoro, who had flown to Fiji after last weekend's planned MSG mission to Noumea was postponed.

Commodore Bainimarama says the MSG will continue to engage with the FLNKS, which is due to host next year's MSG summit.

The week-long visit 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.

The anti-independence Caledonia Together Party has been opposed to the visit, with its leader, Philippe Gomes, saying there was no call for the region's only dictator to visit.