24 Aug 2006

Fiji prepares for Forum - reports

5:19 pm on 24 August 2006

Reports from Fiji say a large number of hotel rooms have been block booked as part of preparations for the Pacific Islands Forum summit in October.

Fiji is being considered as an alternative site for the summit but the Fiji foreign minister says New Zealand has also offered to host the meeting.

This comes after Tonga withdrew from hosting the event because of the King's poor health.

Tonga hopes that it can host next year's event and sources say Tonga's preferred option is that no summit be held this year.

Meanwhile, the French Polynesian president, Oscar Temaru, says he has paid a visit to King Taufa'ahau Tupou IV in Auckland and found him to be weakened but in control of all his mental faculties.

A statement says the meeting at the Mercy Hospital lasted more than half an hour.