3 Aug 2010

PNG's prime minister will not attend Forum in Vanuatu

8:36 am on 3 August 2010

Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare will not attend this week's Pacific Islands Forum in Vanuatu.

A spokesman from the prime minister's office told AAP on Monday that Sir Michael would not be going to the meeting for personal reasons.

The spokesman said it has nothing to do with politics, he needs to be in country.

Sir Michael, who recently survived a leadership challenge, has positioned himself as a key player in negotiating with suspended Forum member Fiji.

Fiji last month held its own meeting in defiance of the PIF ban and attracted regional leaders, including Sir Michael.

The Planning Minister Paul Tiensten will represent Papua New Guinea at the meeting.