21 Jan 2009

Chair of Pacific Islands Forum disappointed Bainimarama will not attend meeting

9:24 am on 21 January 2009

The chair of the Pacific Islands forum, Niue's Premier, Toke Talagi says he is disappointed Fiji's interim Prime Minister won't be attending a special Forum meeting next week, but understands why.

Commodore Frank Bainimarama has decided not to attend the meeting in Papua New Guinea saying he has placed the interest those affected by the recent floods at the forefront.

Mr Talagi says he appreciates the gravity of the situation Fiji faces at the moment.

"But I am still disappointed and would have wished that he would have considered the importance of the meeting in PNG because it's been planned for some time and leaders were looking forward to hearing from the interim Prime Minister his plans for moving the country towards democratic elections as quickly as possible."

Toke Talagi says the issue of Fiji being suspended from the forum is being driven by the media, and the forum is following its protocols.