14 Jul 2010

Planned Fiji summit seen as threat to Forum leaders' meeting

2:19 pm on 14 July 2010

The New Zealand Foreign Affairs Minister, Murray McCully, says concerns the planned meeting of the Melanesian Spearhead Group in Fiji could overshadow next month's summit of the Pacific Islands Forum in Port Vila prompted its cancellation.

The meeting in Fiji, dubbed MSG - Plus and set to also involve countries from Polynesia and Micronesia, was scuttled on Monday by the MSG chair, Vanuatu's Prime Minister, Edward Natapei.

He said the MSG must uphold values of democracy and good governance.

Mr McCully, who met with Mr Natapei at the beginning of the month, says the Vanuatu leader also wanted to ensure that the balance was right between the MSG meeting and the Forum summit.

"It was a particular concern for Prime Minister Natapei as the host and the incoming chair of the Forum to ensure that they appropriate roles of the sub regional group and the regional group were understood and acted upon."