19 Jul 2010

Vanuatu confirms it'll be represented at Engaging Fiji meeting in Nadi

8:16 pm on 19 July 2010

Vanuatu has confirmed it will send a representative to this week's Engaging Fiji meeting in Nadi.

This comes despite the Prime Minister Edward Natapei last week axing a key meeting of Melanesian leaders in his role as the chair of the Melanesian Spearhead Group, the MSG.

He says cancellation was a collective decision by the organisation's leaders, over concerrns a coup leader would become the new chair of the MSG.

The Vanuatu Prime Minister says last week's decision was in no way influenced by Australia as Fiji's Commodore Frank Bainimarama has claimed.

He says the concern of Vanuatu, PNG, Solomon Islands and the FLNKS of New Caledonia was to defend the democratic values, principles and integrity of the MSG, and they didn't see Mr Bainimarama as a suitable chairman.

Mr Natapei says he'd wanted PNG to chair the meeting but got no response from the Fiji interim leader.

Foreign Minister Joe Natuman is to represent Vanuatu in Nadi.