21 Apr 2004

Forum open to possible assistance plea from Nauru

3:49 pm on 21 April 2004

The Pacific Islands Forum secretary-general, Greg Urwin, says he is prepared to make an early visit to Nauru if Nauru needs Forum assistance in the face of its current financial crisis.

Nauru and Australia struck a deal on Monday for Canberra to send administrators to Nauru to help it stave off bankruptcy over the huge debts incurred with a property portfolio.

Mr Urwin says if there is a need, the Forum will help.

"I've been in touch with the Nauru high commissioner here in the last day or so, saying to him, if it would be helpful for me to pay an early visit to Nauru to see whether out of the Forum family as it were there were measures and issues to which we could give support, i'd be very happy to do so. So that's the line of country we are contemplating in respect of Nauru at the moment.''"