15 Jan 2004

Forum summit may be moved to Samoa

4:30 pm on 15 January 2004

Samoa may be asked to play substitute host for this year's Pacific Islands Forum Leaders' annual summit.

The New Zealand Herald reports that Niue is expected to concede its inability to stage the scheduled August meeting after its infrastructure was smashed by Cyclone Heta last week.

The New Zealand Foreign Minister, Phil Goff, discussed the issue with Niue cabinet ministers during a visit to the island on Tuesday.

He says it is likely that Niue will suggest a deferral of it hosting the event to a future year.

Mr Goff says while it is Niue's decision he indicated a deferral would be wise.

Although the question of an alternative summit venue had not been discussed with the Forum secretariat or the current Forum chair, New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark, Mr Goff says Samoa could get the nod.