21 Jun 2010

UAE's $US50m development fund big item on Pacific meeting agenda

6:17 am on 21 June 2010

A 50 million US dollar development fund will be the focus of a meeting between the United Arab Emirates and a number of Pacific island countries next week.

Both the Solomon Islands Prime Minister, Derek Sikua, and Fiji's interim Prime Minister, Commodore Frank Bainimarama have confirmed they will attend.

The Marshall Islands Foreign Minister, John Silk, says the meeting will consider prospects for co-operation between the Arab world and Pacfic Islands.

Our correspondent in the Marshall Islands, Giff Johnson, says the UAE has initiated the Pacific partnership programme.

"And it's got the support of the Arab league and kind of the big item that's on their agenda is the UAE has established a US 50 million dollar fund for development assistance that it wants to talk to Pacific nations about development projects and issues that could be worked on."