8 Aug 2012

Fiji's Bainimarama silent on Iran invitation

4:17 am on 8 August 2012

There is uncertainty over whether the Fiji regime leader will travel to Iran this month for the Non-Aligned Movement Summit.

Fiji became the Movement's 120th member in 2010 when Commodore Frank Bainimarama said Fiji wanted to develop relationships with countries outside the southern Pacific sphere.

He was formally invited to Tehran last month when Iran's ambassador to New Zealand visited Suva.

The Iranian embassy in Wellington says there has been only verbal but no written confirmation from Fiji that Commodore Bainimarama will attend the triennial summit where Iran will assume the Movement's chairmanship from Egypt.

The Fiji government has declined to comment about the invitation to the summit, which this year coincides with the Pacific Islands Forum summit in the Cook Islands.

Iran has invited all member countries, including Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.

Pakistan's President Asif Ali Zardari and India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh are likely to meet on the margins of the summit.