2 Aug 2003

Fiji Prime Minister cancels attendance at MSP meeting

8:04 am on 2 August 2003

Fiji's prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, has cancelled his attendance at the summit of the Melanesian Spearhead Group in Solomon Islands next week.

Instead, Fiji will be represented by the foreign minister, Kaliopate Tavola.

This has been confirmed by the secretary of the prime minister's office, Jioji Kotobalavu, who says Mr Qarase is continuing his dialogue with Labour Party leader, Mahendra Chaudhry, on the formation of a multi-party cabinet.

Meanwhile, Mr Chaudhry has proposed a government of national unity comprising all parties in parliament as a way our of the current impasse.

Mr Chaudhry says this will ensure better race relations and the question of policy differences between Labour and Mr Qarase's SDL party will not arise.