5 Jul 2010

Tong says Fiji's MSG meeting will not undermine Forum

6:05 pm on 5 July 2010

The President of Kiribati, Anote Tong, says the Pacific Islands Forum should have no fears it's being undermined by any sub group of Pacific Island states.

Kiribati will be attending a meeting of the Melanesian Spearhead Group hosted by Fiji this month.

Fiji's invitation to group members as well as non-Melanesian states, including Kiribati, has prompted criticism it's using the MSG to promote itself in the region after being suspended from the Forum.

But Mr Tong says smaller groups like the MSG and the Parties to the Nauru Agreement reinforce the Forum.

"Personally my view is that the Forum will always remain because it is a relevant institution and there should be no fears that it's being undermined by any sub-grouping. I think they reinforce the Forum because the Forum is the umbrella organisation, it's very much more political in nature and it always will remain that."

Kiribati President Anote Tong.