30 Jul 2009

MSG leaders not deviating from Forum stand on Fiji, says Solomons PM

6:43 pm on 30 July 2009

The Solomon Islands Prime Minister Derek Sikua has told parliament that Melanesian Spearhead Group leaders are not calling for Fiji's reinstatement in the Pacific Islands Forum.

It's been widely reported in regional media that following their summit in Port Vila this month, the MSG leaders were supporting a call for Fiji's suspension from the Forum to be lifted.

However, the Solomon Star newspaper reports Dr Sikua as claiming what the MSG leaders are saying is that Fiji shouldn't be totally isolated and that efforts must be made to re-engage with the interim regime.

He said that the MSG wants to assist Fiji in returning to democracy through encouraging open and genuine dialogue and reconciliation with all leaders and stakeholders at all levels of Fijian society.

MSG leaders have come under heavy criticism for their support for Fiji's interim Prime Minister Commodore Bainimarama after he briefed them in Vanuatu.

However, Dr Sikua said it was not the intention of the MSG leaders to deviate from the Forum position and undermine its credibility.