16 Mar 2006

Top MSG meeting in Vanuatu begins a day late

11:35 am on 16 March 2006

A top level meeting in Vanuatu to discuss the presence of former Fiji soldiers in the Papua New Guinea province of Bougainville did not go ahead as planned last night because of flight delays.

The meeting of foreign ministers from Melanesian Spearhead Group has started in Port Vila today in a bid to try and resolve the issue.

The Fiji men have been in a rebel-held no go zone, reportedly providing security for a wanted PNG money scheme operator, Noah Musingku.

Representatives from Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, PNG, Fiji and the MSG are attending the one-day meeting.

It follows failed efforts to get the Fijians to leave the area or to apprehend Mr Musingku.

The meeting is also set to resolve trade disputes within the MSG group.