16 Jun 2010

Kiribati leader confirms attendance at MSG summit

7:28 am on 16 June 2010

Kiribati's President, Anote Tong, has confirmed he will attend next month's summit of Melanesian Spearhead Group leaders in Fiji.

Kiribati is the first non-Melanesian country to indicate it will attend after Fiji's interim leader, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, announced he would be inviting other island countries to the meeting.

The Fiji Sun reports Mr Tong saying engaging with Fiji is important to the people of Kiribati.

He says the most important thing is to develop an understanding for Fiji.

Mr Tong says the decision to exclude Fiji from the Pacific Islands Forum was a collective one, but he says he's discussed Kiribati's position on Fiji with Australia and New Zealand.