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PIFS SG hopes leaders will engage with Fijian PM at PALM 7

April 21, 2015 10:10 pm

Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, Secretary General, Dame Meg Taylor says she hopes Pacific leaders will engage directly with Fijian Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama at the PALM 7 meeting in Japan next month.

Taylor made the remark in an interview with PACNEWS yesterday.

Japan will host the Forum leaders at the seventh Pacific Island Leaders Meeting in Iwaki.

When asked about Bainimarama’s statement that he will not attend the Forum Leaders meeting in Papua New Guinea in September, Taylor said she hopes leaders will talk to each other and that will change.

Taylor says it’s important that Fiji is part of the Forum adding there are still some months before the meeting in Port Moresby.

Bainimarama maintains Fiji will stay out of the Forum until there is a change in the composition.

He says Australia and New Zealand should be funders rather that members of PIF because they bring their influence with their assistance.

New Zealand’s Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully had earlier this month said New Zealand had no intention of leaving the forum.

Steven Ciobo who is Australia’s Parliamentary Secretary to Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop had also said he had “expressed the view that Australia "respectfully disagrees” with being levered out of the PIF.

Fiji’s membership of PIF was suspended after the 2006 coup, but it was invited back after last year’s national election won by Bainimarama.