28 Apr 2010

Samoa PM says Forum secretariat should move to NZ or Australia

1:29 pm on 28 April 2010

A year on from Fiji's suspension from the Pacific Islands Forum, Samoa's Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, says the agency's Suva headquarters should be moved out, possibly to New Zealand or Australia.

Fiji was suspended after Fiji's interim Prime Minister, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, refused to back down on plans to delay elections until 2014.

Tuilaepa, who has frequently been critical of the interim regime, says it's ridiculous for an agency committed to democracy to remain in Fiji.

"For a country that is ruled by a dictatorship regime is quite the opposite of what the Forum stands for. And therefore it stands to reason and commonsense that we should not continue to have the Forum secretariat in Fiji."

Last week, Commodore Bainimarama accused Tuilaepa of trying to whip up a regional outcry so that the Forum secretariat can be moved to Apia.