12 Dec 2013

Forum Secretariat rejects Fiji allegation of pro-EU bias

1:32 pm on 12 December 2013

The Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat has taken issue with claims by Fiji that the Secretariat is acting for the European Union.

This follows a meeting in Solomon Islands of trade ministers belonging to the Pacific ACP group, which was called following an impasse in talks with the EU in Brussels in October.

The Fiji minister, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, pulled out, claiming to be acting as a matter of principle and saying the group should meet without the EU's presence or pressure from the Secretariat.

In a statement, the Suva-based Secretariat says the suggestion that it is acting for the EU hardly deserves a serious response.

It says the Fiji walk out from a ministerial meeting is simply not done and was an extraordinary display of unwarranted and un-Pacific behaviour.

The Secretariat says it is a service organisation, which is proud of its professional behaviour.

Fiji was suspended from the Forum in 2009 after the regime leader, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, reneged on his 2007 promise to hold elelctions.