22 Jul 2010

Fiji calls on Pacific to break shackles of the past

1:55 pm on 22 July 2010

Fiji's interim Prime Minister has told a gathering of Pacific leaders tthe region needs to look to the future.

Leaders from Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Kiribati and Tuvalu are reported to be attending the so-called "Engaging Fiji" meeting, along with representatives from Tonga, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, Nauru, and East Timor.

Commodore Frank Bainimarama says some matters and challenges cannot be resolved simply by relying on traditional spheres of influence, which are often dictated by the Pacific's colonial past and by certain metropolitan powers.

He says breaking away from the shackles of the past will make some uncomfortable, but it must be done.

Commodore Bainimarama also pointed out the meeting was to have been about the Melanesian Spearhead Group but says he doesn't want to engage in condemnation or recriminations.